Category Archives: Finance/Banking


[Mujlisul Ulama]

The following letter from a Brother, adds more light to the bitcoin/crypto currency which in reality is a ghost ‘currency’. It is a massive, satanic gambling operation:

Personally I got involved in the crypto currency market for a week now. I used majority of my funds in my bank account to purchase a certain currency at a low price which my friends assured me the value will double in 48 hours due to the ceo announcing huge partnerships with nasdaq 500 companies. 24 hours after purchasing the currency online my profits were at 50%.

Out of greed I did not sell rather I held the coin hoping for it to increase by another 50%. After 48 hours the announcement postponed for 2 days later and the price dropped 20% than what I originally paid. In this period I researched the company and what it invests the money in and found out that it plans on launching online betting and gambling platforms that are Decentralized (untraceable by government) out of fear of Allah I sold my coins at a loss although I knew I could double my money in 50 hours. During the 1 week period that I started trading I slept for 3 hours per day and was in a constant fikr and worry about the markets and what I could be missing out on. After some muraqaba i have concluded this form of ‘trading’ is no different to gambling. It’s like entering a casino or betting on a game and hoping you’ll win. There is no guarantee that you will gain a profit. Another Muslim friend invested in another currency that was used to control the wine trade, Alhumdulillah he got out of it. This whole crypto game is a huge gamble and our Muslims need to be taught about its dangers.

(End of letter)


The crypto currency scam is a huge Yahudi conspiracy. It is outright gambling. It is a ghost ‘currency’ which has no reality. It is devoid of reality. It operates just like gambling. It creates gambling lust in the blood of those who gamble with this ghost currency. With your real money, you buy ghost currency. Investors in this satanic stupidity will learn the hard way when the soap bubble bursts and when they find themselves having to suffer huge losses.

There is no maal (tangible commodity) involved. It is not a viable form of trade in terms of the Shariah. It is a massive gambling conspiracy which consists of Haraam compounded with Haraam.

Be contented with the Rizq Allah Ta’ala has pre-ordained for you. Rizq is fixed. It will neither increase nor decrease. Do not allow shaitaaniyat and nafsaaniyat to cultivate loss for you – loss in this dunya and loss in the Aakhirat. Greed is a disastrous evil. Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:

“Rizq is sealed (pre-ordained and fixed), and the avaricious one (the greedy one) is deprived.”


About Bitcoins – Advice to the ‘Ulama

[By Mujlisul Ulama]


It should be well understood that at this stage bitcoin is NOT currency. We are not saying that it cannot or will not become currency in the future. The Yahudi conspirators who control the economy of the world have their own wonderful and artful ways of fostering and establishing their plots. But at this moment understand well that bitcoin is NOT currency, hence the properties and effects of currency do not apply to bitcoin.

Our advice to muftis who rush to clamber aboard the Yahudi bitcoin bandwagon is to ascertain what the western kuffaar experts have to say about bitcoin. At all times there will be concerned and independent kuffaar experts in all fields of mundane life. After all, these expert economists who understand the intricacies of satanic banking and all paraphernalia related to the Satanist currency conspiracy, are better poised to understand bitcoin.  It is essential to heed their warnings and to tread cautiously with the process of churning out ‘fatwas’ on the basis of lack of information and misinformation. Read the following bitcoin report and advice by one of the world’s leading western bankers.

Swiss banking boss calls for regulators to act on bitcoin – AFP

THE chairman of Swiss banking giant UBS does not consider the soaring cryptocurrency bitcoin as money and has called for regulators to intervene.

Bitcoin prices have surged this year from less than $1 000 (about R13 100) in January to $17 000 (R222 700) last week, after trading in the digital currency began on the Chicago Board Options Exchange – the first time it has appeared on a traditional platform.

But in an interview with the NZZ am Sonntag weekly, published yesterday, UBS boss Axel Weber warned investors against jumping on the bandwagon, saying the bubble would inevitably burst.

“In my opinion, bitcoins are not money,” he said, adding that the virtual currency had significant design flaws.

Money was meant to fulfil three main functions and bitcoins failed at all of them, he said.

The currency was not an effective means of payment since it was not universally accepted, it was not a good measure of value since prices were not written in bitcoins, and it was not an effective way to store value, since it was inherently unstable, he said.

Weber said the main problem was that with no central bank and no issuer controlling the supply, the value was determined solely by demand, which led to huge price fluctuations in both directions.

UBS had decided to advise clients against investing in the virtual currency, he said, because the bank did not consider it valuable and it was not sustainable.

To protect investors who do not take the bank’s advice, regulators were needed, he said. (The Herald 18 Dec 2017)

(End of report)

The rational conclusion is:

– Bitcoin is not money

– Bitcoin is unsafe

– Do not invest in bitcoin

– The properties which the Shariah invests in currency are not applicable to bitcoin at this stage.

– Be alert to Yahudi plots.

The Philosophy Of Money in Islam

By Mufti Faraz Adam

The last decade has witnessed many events and developments in the financial world such as the global financial crisis, the economic reforms in China, the slump in oil prices and the global drift towards a cashless economy. The digitisation of the economy has innovated payment methods  and revolutionised the concept of money. Nations would barter goods they had in surplus for goods they needed as early as 9000 BC. Grains and cattle were popular goods of barter. In 1200 BC, cowries – the shells of a mollusc – were used in China as money (Wray, 2012). Thereafter, bronze and copper cowrie imitations were manufactured in China at the end of the Stone Age in 1000 BC (Davies, 2002). This is considered to be the earliest form of metal coins. Metal tool money such as knives and spade were also used in China. The first official currency was minted by King Alyattes of Lydia in modern day Turkey in 600 BC (Luo, 1999). The coins were developed out of lumps of silver and took the familiar circular form. This technique was duplicated and refined by the Greeks, Persian, Macedonian, and later the Roman empires. These empires used precious metals such as gold, silver and bronze whilst China  used based metals (Luo, 1999). In 118 BC, the first documented type of banknotes came into existence in China, where leather money was being circulated in the form of one-foot-square pieces of white deerskin with colourful borders. From the ninth to the fifteenth century, China experienced the rapid growth of paper banknotes in circulation to the point that their value rapidly depreciated and inflation soared. In 1816, gold was officially made the standard of value in England. Although banknotes were in use prior to this, this was the first time that their worth had been tied to directly to gold. In 1860, Western Union developed e-money with electronic fund transfer via telegram. In 1946, John Biggins invented Char-It Card, the first credit card. European banks began offering mobile banking with primitive smart phones in 1999. Electronic money was further developed when contactless payment cards were issued in 2008 in UK for the first time. 2008 also witnessed the birth of Bitcoin: a cryptic peer to peer electronic cash system (Bank of England, 2014). This evolution highlights the global shift towards a cashless economy.

The Philosophy of Money in Islam Islam does not recognise money as a subject matter of trade, except in some special cases. Money has no intrinsic utility; it  is only a medium of exchange; Each unit of money is exactly equal to another unit of the  same denomination, therefore, there is no room for making profit through the exchange of these units inter se. Profit is generated when something that has intrinsic utility is sold for money or when different currencies are exchanged, one for another. The profit earned through dealing in money (of the same currency) or the papers representing them is interest, hence prohibited.

Ibn Taymiyyah (d. 728 H) states that the physical body of money is never the objective of acquiring money, rather, it is the counter-exchange which is the objective and benefit of money. [Majmu’ al-Fatawa] 

The owner of the money must spend or put labour to derive benefit from money. If the money is lent in the form of a loan, interest cannot be charged on it. Money is simply a unit of measurement. Thus, money is not a commodity in Islam. Its reward is not guaranteed, instead, it is contingent on the result of production from productive activity which generates surplus value. [Viability of The Islamic Dinar, 73-90].

Ibn Taymiyyah states in another place: “When currencies and money are inter-traded with the intention of investment and profit, it opposes the very purpose of money and Thamaniyyah.” [Majmu al-Fatawa] 

Ibn al-Qayyim (d.751 H) states: “Money is never sought for itself; rather, it is used as a means to gain commodities. When money begins to be treated as a commodity and becomes the objective of transactions, the entire (economic) system will become corrupted and in crisis.” [I’laam al-Muq’een]
Imam al-Ghazali (d.505 H) states:  “Allah Ta’ālā created dinar and dirham for circulation and to be an equitable and just standard between different assets. They are the means to all other assets; they are precious in themselves but not desired for themselves.” [Ihya’ Ulum al-Deen]

Money in the Quran and Prophetic traditions
The Quran describes the role of money in the following manner: “Do not entrust your wealth to the feeble-minded, which Allah has made to maintain you”   [Quran 4:5]  

The word used to describe wealth in this verse is Qiwam. This refers to something made to maintain, support and sustain others. This word reflects the true essence of money; money is a powerful means which Allah has created to upkeep and maintain the entire worldly system. It is the means to an end; not an end in and of itself. The end goal of money is to sustain one’s worldly affairs to facilitate focus on the Hereafter. 

The primary sources of Islam have not defined any characteristic nor condition for money.[Majmu’ al-Fatawa]. The Qur’an and Sunnah only refer to the prevalent money in circulation at the time: Dinar and Dirham. At the time of revelation, the bimetallic currency was in use. In fact, the two verses of the Quran (3:75) and (12:20) shows that the previous nations also used Dirhams or silver coins. Imam Abd al-Barr states that Muslims of the prophetic era used the Roman Dinars and Persian Dirhams (Shukri, 2007).  

Money in Islamic history 
Caliph Abdul Malik ibn Marwan introduced the first Islamic dinar and dirham in the year 76 Hijrah (Shukri, 2007). During the Mamluk dynasty (872-922 A.H/1468-1517 CE), Fulūs (copper coins) came into existence to use in small commercial transactions. Its purchasing power was very limited and was for common daily needs of life (Wan Kamal, 2006). In the Ottoman empire, money was further developed. The Ottomans produced the currency named Qaimah in the form of paper money. In 1914, the Ottomans officially declared that paper money was the only legal tender for the medium of exchange (Yaacob, 2013). 

The above developments across the Islamic empires support the view that Islam has not defined currency, instead, it has left it to people to decide their currency. Ibn Taymiyyah states that the Shariah has not defined any specific condition nor definition for currency and money, and has instead left it to the ‘Urf and understanding of the people. [Majmu’ al-Fatawa]

Hence, the Hanafī jurists state that assets or commodities become money and currency by Ta’āmul (common usage) and Iṣṭilāḥ (common agreement) (al-Kasani). Imam Ahmad also opined that currency and money can be identified by the agreement of the people (Ibn Qudamah).  

Money according to contemporary Muslim thinkers  The introduction of fiat currency witnessed a boom in writings and researches on money. Dr Asmatullah (2013) highlights the opinions of Islamic scholars on what is money. He presents three opinions on what Islamic scholars consider as money: one group of scholars consider gold and silver as real money. A second group of scholars only class minted coins as money regardless of the metal its composed of. A third group of scholars suggest that gold and silver are the real, accepted other forms of money, other items can also be considered as money upon fulfilling certain requirements. Although this paper does not consider nor discuss virtual currencies, an argument is presented on the prerequisites in Islam to consider something as money. Yaacob (2014) addressed another aspect to currency which Dr Asamatullah’s paper failed to address: the evolution of money.  Yaacob (2014) discusses how the understanding of what is money has developed. In this paper, he highlights how paper money evolved from being a debt instrument to being an independent form of money.  However, the most this paper considers in terms of evolution of money is fiat currencies.  Similarly, Mani (1984) discusses the reality of paper money in his paper. The main contribution of this paper is the consideration of whether money has to be government backed to be considered as money. The paper proposes three views: the mineral view, the governmental view and the psychological view.

Types of Money Discussed in Fiqh texts
Islamic jurists state that money is of two types: 

Natural Money (al-thaman al-khilqī) – money created to serve as a medium of exchange and naturally possesses monetary value. Gold and silver are natural money. Imam al-Ghazāli (d.505 H) refers to gold and silver as natural money which Allah The Almighty created for mankind to use as a standard and measure to price and valuate (al-Ghazali, 2011).     

Artificial and customary money (al-thaman al-‘urfī) – money adopted as a medium of exchange whereby the monetary value is extrinsic to the money.  Commodity money and fiat currencies are common artificial and customary forms of money. 

Commodity money refers to those assets which intrinsically has value and serve another function but become an acceptable and popular medium of exchange.  This was an accepted form of money in Shariah.   

Commodity money are assets used as money that also have intrinsic value in some other use.  In other words, it can serve as money as well as commodity due its intrinsic value. Salt, animals, shells, grains etc. are forms of commodity money. Commodity money is an acceptable form of money in Shariah when people attribute Thamaniyyah to a commodity. 

Fiat money gets its value from a government (enforced) order (i.e. fiat). That means, the government declares fiat money to be legal tender, which requires all people and firms within the country (are forced) to accept it as a means of payment. Unlike commodity money, fiat money is not backed by any physical commodity. By definition, it does not have intrinsic value. Hence, the value of fiat money is derived from the relationship between supply and demand. Most of the world’s paper money is fiat money. Fiat money is also an acceptable form of money in Shariah after the government assign a note, coin or electronic money value and Thamaniyyah.    

One of the key differences between the two is the source of monetary value (Thamaniyyah) i.e. who and what primarily assigned it as money. Natural money has intrinsic Thamaniyyah and customary money has extrinsic Thamaniyyah. Gold and silver innately possess Thamaniyyah by which people consider them as stores of value and are ready to exchange goods in lieu of gold and silver.  What is interesting to consider is that besides their unique properties, gold and silver have nothing unique about them to signify the attribute of Thamaniyyah. Nevertheless, across time, humans have naturally valued gold and silver which led them to use it as currency. It is as if the Thamaniyyah is placed by Allah into the hearts of humans for gold and silver and thus, Thamaniyyah has become a permanent description of gold and silver. Besides gold and silver, artificial and customary money such as commodity money and fiat money do not innately possess Thamaniyyah. Although commodity money has intrinsic value, it does not have Thamaniyyah. Humans naturally do not perceive commodities as a medium of exchange, rather, they are the subject of an exchange.  On the other hand, fiat currencies do not have intrinsic value to serve a function nor do humans naturally consider them to possess Thamaniyyah, instead, an extrinsic force adds the notion of Thamaniyyah to fiat currencies which is then perceived by the masses. Thus, money can be divided into the following: 

1) Al-Thaman al-Khilqī (gold and silver) – intrinsic Thamaniyyah and intrinsic value allowing it to be used for other purposes such as jewellery.

2) Al-Thaman al-‘Urfī (customary money)
A) Commodity money – has intrinsic value allowing it to be used for other functions but does not have intrinsic Thamaniyyah. B) Fiat money – No intrinsic value and therefore does not provide any considerable function besides being a medium of exchange. Neither does it have intrinsic Thamaniyyah

Commodity money is an asset used as money that also has intrinsic value.  In other words, it can serve as money as well as a commodity due to its intrinsic value. Salt, animals, shells, grains etc. are forms of commodity money. Commodity money is an acceptable form of money in Shariah when people attribute Thamaniyyah to a commodity.

Fiat money gets its value from a government order (i.e. fiat). That means, the government declares fiat money to be legal tender, which requires all people and firms within the country to accept it as a means of payment.  Unlike commodity money, fiat money is not backed by any physical commodity. By definition, it does not have intrinsic value. Hence, the value of fiat money is derived from the relationship between supply and demand. Most of the world’s paper money is fiat money. Fiat money is also an acceptable form of money in Shariah after the government assign value to a note, coin or electronic money and Thamaniyyah.     

Thaman, commonly translated as price, is a broad term used to describe any medium of exchange in a sale regardless of what the medium is: currency, assets or a debt.  Every sale contract requires a Thaman for validity.  However, not every Thaman is currency or money. In other words, the trait of Thamaniyyah is not in everything used when paying for goods.   

Ibn Taymiyyah (d. 728 H) states that the Sharī’ah has not defined any specific condition nor definition for currency and money, and has instead left it to the ‘Urf and understanding of the people. Hence, the Hanafī Fuqahā’ state that assets or commodities become money and currency by Ta’āmul (usage) and Iṣṭilāḥ (common agreement).  Imam Ahmad (d.241 H) also opined that currency and money can be identified by the agreement of the people [al-Mughni].  When something becomes currency or money in Shariah, the rulings of Zakat, currency exchange, Ribā and other such rulings apply to the currency.    

The legal consequences of being Thaman (price):
1) When transacting, the Thaman (price) becomes a debt upon the buyer.
2) It is not necessary to own the monetary amount and price (Thaman) at the time of transaction.
3) A transaction is not nullified with the non-delivery of the Thaman.
4) Thaman can be re-negotiated after a transaction except in a ṣarf and Salam contract. 

Characteristics of Thaman:
1) Benefit from Thaman is derived by spending. It serves no other purpose whilst in one’s ownership 2) Thaman is used as a standard for pricing
3) Thaman is used as a medium of exchange to acquire assets with intrinsic value 

The Concept of Ta’āmul and Iṣṭīlāḥ for Establishing Currency

Ta’āmul refers to common usage. Iṣṭilāh refers to mutual concurrence. The term Ta’āmul is synonymous to ‘Urf and ‘ĀdahTa’āmul is established when the usage of something becomes dominant and becomes the standard in affairs and dealings. 

Iṣṭilāḥ (mutual concurrence) is a similar concept to Ta’āmul. Imam Abū Ḥanīfah (d.150 H) and Imam Abū Yūsuf (d.182 H) were of the opinion that a commodity can be considered as money upon the agreement of only the two transacting parties. Whereas, Imam Muhammad (d.189 H) viewed that for commodities to be considered currency and money, general and widespread Iṣṭilāḥ is required for commodities to be money and currency [al-Hidayah]. 

Thus, according to Imam Muhammad (d.189 H), only when commodity has public acceptance will it be regarded as money.   Mufti Muhammad Taqi Uthmani states that the preponderant position is that of Imam Muhammad. Thus, Iṣṭīlāḥ can only be activated and deactivated by the public and not by the transacting parties alone.

Besides Dinar and Dirham, other assets which became a currency without the intervention of a state did so upon Ta’āmul and Iṣṭilāḥ. In historical times, assets and raw metals were commonly used in daily chores and affairs.  Therefore, assets and raw metals which served other purposes in daily life would not be regarded as money until Ta’āmul (usage as money) transpired. [Al-Mabsut]  Ta’āmul and Iṣṭilāḥ were the indicators of something transforming from Urūḍ (assets) to Thaman (money). Ta’āmul is a natural process which takes time to establish. A habit is formed after an industry, area or market deal with something as money over a given period of time, establishing a Ta’āmul. Some of the apparent indicators of Ta’āmul are:

• The ẓāhir and apparent understanding of such assets is that it is money.  
• People regard them as money extemporaneously. 
• The first description or definition that comes to mind of such assets is of money. 
Thamaniyyah becomes their second nature and innate trait.  
• The obvious form of payment becomes these assets.    

However, money which was coined and released by the government, was money from its inception. A natural process of Ta’āmul was not required as people regarded that asset as money upon circulation. The government establish Ta’āmul and ‘Urf by legislation. Thus, Mufti Taqi Uthmani indicates that an ‘Urf can be established with legislation. Minted coins served no other purpose but as a medium of exchange from inception due to the ‘Urf being implemented and imposed by the government. In such an instance, the natural process of Ta’āmul and forming a habit is fast tracked by legislation.   

Assets which become money and are given the quality of Thamaniyyah upon Ta’āmul can also be deactivated as money once they are withdrawn or no longer used as money. The Thamaniyyah being removed from such items reverts them back to assets and raw metals. This can be understood in commodity money which continue to serve their primary function upon being withdrawn and out of circulation.   

The Thamaniyyah (monetary element) in Dinar and Dirham can never be deactivated or removed, as that is intrinsically and innately instilled in these precious metals by Allah. [Al-Ikhtiyar]

The Fiqhi (juristic) Components for Currency 
This section analyses the components required for any item or asset to be considered a currency. 

Māl (Wealth) 
The primary component for any counter value or consideration is Māl. An accepted definition of a transaction among Muslim jurists is ‘an exchange of Māl in consideration of Māl’ (al-Marghinani). Any consideration in a commutative contract must be Māl. If the consideration is not Māl, the contract is void (bāṭil). Therefore, the first fundamental requirement for money is that it must be Māl. Scholars differ in their understanding of Māl.  

Linguistically, Māl in the Arabic language refers to anything which can be acquired and possessed; whether it is corporeal (‘ayn) or usufruct (manfa’ah); examples of this include gold, silver, animals, plants and the benefit derived from assets such as living in homes, riding vehicles etc. (Wohidul Islam, 1999). Something which cannot be possessed, cannot be considered as Māl linguistically. For example, birds in the sky, fish in the water, trees in forests are not Māl in terms of the Arabic language as they are not in any person’s possession (al-Zuhayli, 1985).

After the codification of Islamic law by various schools, the term Māl was coined to denote different technical meanings and concepts. Thus, jurists from different schools differed in their understanding of Māl. Wohidul Islam (1999) categorises the definitions of Māl into two definitions and understandings: The Hanafi understanding and the majority understanding. 

If we consider Wohidul Islam’s (1999) categorisation, it becomes clear that even among the Hanafi jurists, different definitions of Māl are found. However, when closely examining the definitions, the variance is not due to a difference in the nature of Māl, but simply due to the different ways of expression (Wohidul Islam, 1999). For example, some of the common definitions are:

1) Māl is what human instinct inclines too and which is capable of being stored for the time of necessity (Ibn Abidin, n.d.).
2) Māl is that which has been created for the goodness of human beings. Māl brings with it scarcity and stinginess (Uthmani, 2014).
3) Māl is that which is normally desired and can be stored up for the time of need” (Majallah, 2012). 

According to the Hanafi jurists, Māl is “what is normally desired and can be stored up for the time of need”.  This definition denotes that the two key criteria for defining Māl in the Hanafis’ view are “desirability” and “storability”.  The first criterion clearly links Māl to its linguistic root mayl, which means inclination or desire. Mufti Taqi Uthmani describes desirability as something which is beneficial. However, Shaykh Salah Abul Hāj states that the condition of desirability excludes undesirable articles of trade such as humans etc. 

Ibn ‘Ābidīn (d.1252 H) presents another definition of Māl as “something created for the benefit of man which people hoard and aspire”. Imam al-Lacknawi (d.1304 H) has a similar discussion on Māl.

In terms of storability, Ibn ‘Ābidīn (d.1252 H) states that this condition excludes Manfa’ah (usufruct)45 as Manfa’ah is Milk (something that comes into your ownership) not Māl.  In other words, Manfa’āh is something which comes into one’s ownership as a result of trading Māl and is the usufruct of the Māl and not Māl in itself.  Thus, in a rental contract, one gets ownership of the Manfa’ah and not the Māl (leased item) which is providing the Manfa’ah. Thus, intangibles which can be stored and retrieved are different to Manfa’ah. The former will be Māl whilst the latter is not Māl according to the Hanafi legal theory. 

Storability simply means that something can be retrieved for use later. Thus, thin air, an odour or scent, a passing thought in one’s mind are not ‘storable’. The jurists put this condition for Māl because only storable items can be retrieved and used, and the entire purpose of Māl is usage.   

Although some Hanafi jurists have stated that Māl must be a physical entity, Mufti Taqi Uthmani dispels this argument and states that the Quran and Sunnah have not explicitly defined Māl, rather, Shariah has left it to the understanding of people. Furthermore, he argues that some Furu’ (substantive laws) in the Hanafi school discuss intangibles as Māl. He thereafter quotes the Fatāwā of late Hanafi jurists which consider electricity and gas as Māl despite being intangible.  Thus, intangibles can also be Māl on condition they are desirable and retrievable.  It is not necessary for intangible Māl to remain after using, it may be an intangible which is consumed and depleted upon usage.  The condition of perpetuity is not required in physical Māl either, hence, food is Māl despite being used by consumption. 

The Shafi’i jurists have included usufruct in the definition of Māl. Al-Zarkashi states that, “Māl is what gives benefit, i.e. prepared to give benefit”, and he continues to say at mal can be material objects or usufructs (al-Zarkashi). al-Suyuti states: “The terminology Māl should not be construed except as to what has value with which it is exchangeable; and the destructor of it would be made liable to pay compensation; and what the people would not usually throw away or disown, such as money, and the likes” (Wohidul Islam, 1999).

From among the Hanbali jurists, al-Kharqi states that Māl is something in which there exists a lawful benefit (Wohidul Islam, 1999). Al-Buhuti elaborates on this definition and states that something in which there is not benefit in essence, such as insects, or where there is benefit but it is unlawful in Islam, such as wine, cannot be considered as Māl. 

Another requirement for Māl itself to be exchangeable and tradeable is that it must be Mutaqawwim (possess legal value) for transaction to be legally sound (ṣaḥīḥ). 

Mutaqawwim refers to an item or subject being lawful to use in Shariah. Therefore, Ali Haydar states that the criteria for any item to be tradeable and exchangeable are:

1) Tamawwul 

2) Taqawwum 

Tamawwul refers to anything used as Māl. Taqawwum refers to the item being lawful in Shariah as a result of being considered valuable.  

Thamaniyyah refers to money having two critical functions:

1) Independent standard of value 2) Unit of account  

The first function of Thamaniyyah is to enable money to independently price and valuate goods. The currency is not valued against something else in its market of operation. The entire objective of currency and money is to be a means to facilitate transactions with ease without having to refer to any other benchmark or index. It is a common and widespread reference of value which does not require a further benchmark to understand its operational worth in a market or industry. If money constantly required benchmarking in a local and domestic market, this would undermine the entire function of currency.  

In addition, for something to be an independent standard of value, it necessitates that it has stability and widespread acceptance. Money is an entire system and Intiẓām. The system of money has been established to bring stability in our worldly life and to be of benefit to man. It is a standard and measure for value. Hence, in ancient times, money was weighed in a scale, reflecting the very essence of money – a means to balance and bring order in the world. Thus, Allah states: 

“Do not entrust your wealth to the feeble-minded, which Allah has made to maintain you”   [Quran 4:5]    

Therefore, if money does not have stability and is plagued with gross uncertainty and severe volatility, it loses its primary role and function. Something unstable cannot bring stability to others. 

The second function of Thamaniyyah is to be a unit of account. This refers to being a primary reference point and yardstick for people to use to post prices and record debts.  It is the thing that goods and services are priced As discussed previously, the characteristic of which has Thamaniyyah will be currency. Thamaniyyah Thamaniyyah singles out  currency from all other assets.

An asset (monetary value) is the  key element in an asset which qualifies it to serve as currency  and money. It is these three  features in currency which define  money in Islamic law.  

These three features are similar to what conventional economists define as the functions of money.

Centralisation Necessary for Money in Islam?
Until the caliphate of Abdul Malik ibn Marwān, the Islamic government did not control the currency nor its coinage. The Islamic government did not have a ‘Royal Mint’, however, Sayyiduna ‘Umar ibn al-Khaṭṭāb raḍiyallahu ‘anhu did introduce some measures to stabilise the alloy, content and weight of silver coins.  In the year 74 AH, the government of Abdul Malik ibn Marwān established a monetary system and an Islamic dirham.  Furthermore, mint houses were established which took control of the coins in circulation and improved the quality and consistency of the currencies. 

In the early decades of Islam, money was thus decentralised and left to public practice.  However, one may argue that money was still centralised since the Muslims used the Dinar – a Byzantine currency – and Dirham – a Persian currency.

The Hanafi jurists state that Ta’āmul can establish currency just as coinage and minting from the government established currency. The Hanafi jurists reasoned that anything minted and centralised would give a known benchmark and point of reference, thus, creating ease in the markets and facilitating transactions. 

The Shafi’ī jurists state that it is disliked for other than the government to mint coins and currency as it was the role of the government. Furthermore, it was a secure method to combat counterfeiting, forgery and corruption.

The Hanbali jurists are explicit in stating that it is not permissible for the Sultan to ban the currency commonly used by people as it will cause financial harm to the people, unless they are recompensed proportionately in the new currency without a fee.  Considering the benefit and harm for the masses, Imam al-Ṣuyūṭī (d. 911 H) also states that it is disliked for the government to withdraw or nullify a currency commonly used among people.  Al-Buhūtī (d.1051 H) says that the reason why the government should solely take control of minting is to benefit the people and to make it easy for them in their transactions and affairs. 

From the above, it is evident that the jurists and economists in Islam favoured a centralised monetary system because of the following reasons:

1) Trust in the currency
2) Presence of a regulatory framework
3) Secure system
4) Wide acceptance
5) Ease for the people in pricing and transacting
6) A benchmark for transactions  

Thus, if these characteristics are found in a decentralised system, there is nothing to prohibit such a system in Islam. These underpinning principles are the ideals for currency and money in Islam.  The government and ruling authority would have been the most efficient and instrumental in achieving these ideals.  It is on the back of this it seems that classical scholars favoured a centralised system. However, the reality is that the Quran and Sunnah have not defined currency, instead, they have left it to the understanding of the people and custom of the people as mentioned by Imam Ibn Taymiyyah (d.728 H). This is a common feature for those aspects of law which are fluid, dynamic and adjustable.   

Considering that a centralised system is not necessary, Shaykh Abdullah al-Mani’ states: “Money is thus whatever is agreed to be such, whether by government authority or public practice.” 

Thus, money can be determined by centralisation and decentralisation. If a decentralised system can provide benefits similar to that of a centralised system, a medium of exchange can become money through public practice and widespread acceptance. 

This research used an inductive process by interpreting classical legal texts to identify the principles of defining money in Islamic law. Three elements were identified for anything to be considered as money: Māl (wealth), Taqawwum (legal value) and Thamaniyyah (monetary usage). The concept of Māl was analysed; different definitions and understandings were presented. A famous definition was “what is normally desired and can be stored up for the time of need”. Two key criteria for Māl were highlighted from this definition: “desirability” and “storability”. Storability simply referred to something retrievable for use at a future date. On the other hand, desirability referred to something beneficial and lawful for use which people had an inclination to. The second condition was Taqawwum, which meant that the asset must be lawful. The final condition was Thamaniyyah. Thamaniyyah referred to the potential of something to be a measure of value and be commonly used as a medium of exchange.

Also Read:

The Prohibition of Riba (Usury/Interest)

[Mufti Muhammad Shafi’ ‘Uthmani (rahimahullah)]

Those  who  take  riba  (usury  or  interest)  will  not  stand  but  as  stands  the  one  whom  the  demon  has  driven  crazy  by  his  touch.  That  is  because  they  have  said:  “Trading  is  but  like  riba.”  And  Allah  has  permitted trading,  and  prohibited  riba.  So,  whoever  receives  an advice  from  his  Lord  and  stops, he  is  allowed  what  has  passed,  and  his  matter  is  upto  Allah.  And  the  ones  who  revert  back,  those  are  the  people  of  Fire.  There  they  remain  for  ever.

Allah  destroys  riba  and  nourishes  charities.  And  Allah does  not  like  any  sinful  disbeliever.  Surely  those  who believe  and  do  good  deeds,  establish  Salah  and  Zakah  have  their  reward  with  their  Lord,  and  there  is  no  fear for  them,  nor  shall  they  grieve.

O  those  who  believe,  fear  Allah  and  give  up  what  still  remains  of  the  ‘riba’  if  you  are  believers.  But  if  you  do  not,  then  listen  to  the  declaration  of  war  from  Allah  and  His  Messenger.  And  if  you  repent,  yours  is  your principal.  Neither  you  wrong,  nor  be  wronged. 

And  if  there  be  one  in  misery,  then  deferment  till  ease.  And  that  you  leave  it  as  alms  is  far  better  for  you,  if  you  really  know.  And  be  fearful  of  a  day  when  you  shall  be  returned  to  Allah,  then  everybody  shall  be  paid,  in  full,  what  he  has  earned.  And  they  shall  not  be  wronged.   [Surah Baqarah: Verses 275 – 281]

The  Prohibition  of  Riba

From  these  verses  begins  the  description  of  the  forbiddance  of  riba  and  the  injunctions  relating  to  its  unlawfulness.  This  issue  is  very important  from  different  angles.  On  the  one  hand,  there  are  the  severe warnings  of  the  Qur’an  and  Sunnah  and  on  the  other,  it  has  been  taken  today  as  an  integral  part  of  the  world  economy.  The  desired  liberation  from  it  seems  to  be  infested  with  difficulties.  The  problem  is very  detail-oriented  and  has  to  be  taken  up  in  all  possible  aspects. 

First  of  all  we  have  to  deliberate  into  the  correct  interpretation  of  these  verses  of  the  Qur’an  and  into  what  has  been  said  in  authentic ahadith  and  then  determine  what  riba  is  in  the  terminology  of  the  Qur’an  and  Sunnah,  what  transactions  it  covers,  what  is  the  underlying  wisdom  behind  its  prohibition  and  what  sort  of  harm  it brings  to  society. 

The  second  aspect  of  riba  is  intellectual  and  economic.  Is  it  true  that  riba  guarantees  the  economic  development  of  the  world,  so  much  so,  that  its  suspension  will  categorically  result  in  the  destruction  of  trade  and  general  economic  activity?  Or,  this  whole  evil  cycle  is  nothing  but  the  brain-child  of  those  heedless  of  Allah  Almighty  and  the  Hereafter.  Otherwise,  all  economic  problems  can  be  solved  without  it  as  well.  Going  a  step  further,  we  can  even  say  that  the  economic peace  in  the  world  depends  on  the  elimination  of  riba,  let  alone  the  resolution  of  its  problems.  Riba  is  the  greatest  cause  of  the  economic  maladies  of  the  world. 

This  second  aspect  involves  the  discussion  of  an  economic  problem  under  which  come  long  debates  which  are  not  related  to  the  interpretation  of  the  Qur’an,  therefore,  we  shall  restrict  ourselves  to  dealing  with  the  first  aspect  only,  which  requires  no  less  details either. 

Here  we  have  a  total  of  six  verses  which  state  the  prohibition  of  riba  and  set  forth  related  injunctions.  Out  of  these,  the  first  sentence of  the  first  verse  points  out  to  the  sad  end  of  those  involved  in  riba  transactions  and  to  the  disgraceful  and  dishevelled  nature  of  their  rising  on  the  day  of  resurrection.  It  is  said  that  those  who  consume  riba  do  not  stand  except  like  a  man  who  has  been  driven  crazy  by  the  embrace  of  some  satan  or  jinn.  It  appears  in  hadith  that  the  word,  la yaqumuna  or  ‘do  not  stand’  means  the  rising  of  the  dead  from  their  graves  on  the  day  of  resurrection  in  the  sense  that  the  dealer  in  riba,  when  he  rises  from  his  grave,  will  rise  like  the  mad  man  who  has  been  driven  crazy  by  some  satan  or  jinn. 

The  first  thing  we  find  out  from  this  sentence  is  that  a  human  being  can  faint  or  go  mad  under  the  influence  of  jinns  and  satans  and  the  observations  of  those  who  have  had  such  experience  prove  it.  Hafiz  Ibn  Qayyim  al-Jawziyyah,  has  confirmed  that  physicians  and  philosophers  have  conceded  that  epilepsy,  fainting  or  madness  are  caused  by  several  different  reasons,  one  of  which,  at  times,  could  also  be  the  input  of  jinns  and  satans.  Those  who  reject  this  have  no  other  argument  in  their  favour  except  that  obviously  it  is  too  far  out  to believe. 

The  second  point  to  be  noted  here  is  that  the  Qur’an  does  not  say  that  the  consumers  of  riba  will  rise  in  a  state  of  madness  or  insanity.  Instead,  it  refers  to  a  peculiar  condition  of  lunacy  or  fit  or  stupefaction –  as  if  someone  has  been  embraced  by  Satan  and  driven  crazy.  Perhaps,  this  carries  the  hint  that  a  person  struck  with  lunacy  or  fit  is,  at  times,  found  inactive  and  silent  while  usually  these  people  will  not  be  found  in  that  dormant  state.  Instead,  they  would  be  identified  by their  ranting,  raving  and  crazy  doings  as  a  result  of  the  satanic  touch. 

Perhaps,  there  might  be  yet  another  hint  here.  It  is  commonly  noticed  that  human  senses  come  to  a  flat  nothing  after  fainting  or  insanity  following  a  sickness;  the  very  feeling  of  pain  or  punishment  is  just  not  there.  But  these  people  will  not  be  found  in  that  inert  state.  On  the  contrary,  they  would  feel,  with  full  sensitivity,  the  pain  and  the  punishment  like  one  shadowed  by  a  demon. 

Now,  at  this  point,  we  have  to  look  for  a  certain  compatibility  in  crime  and  punishment.  When  punishment  comes  from  Allah  Almighty,  for  a  person  or  group,  against  a  certain  crime,  it  is  certainly  appropriate  to  the  crime.  Therefore,  raising  the  consumers  of  riba,  without  sense,  on  the  day  of  resurrection  is  perhaps  indicative  of  a  certain  parallelism.  Isn’t  it  that  the  consumer  of  riba  is  so  drunk  with  his  greed  for  money  that  he  is  neither  kind  to  anyone  poor,  nor  does  he blush  before  anyone  for  what  he  does?  Since  he  was  really  senseless during  his  lifetime  in  the  world,  he  was  raised  on  the  day  of  resurrection  in  that  same  condition.  Or,  may  be,  he  was  so  punished  because,  in  the  mortal  world,  he  demonstrated  his  lack  of  reason  as  reason,  that  is,  he  declared  riba  to  be  like  trade;  therefore,  he  was  made  to  rise  all  deprived  of  his  sanity. 

Also  noteworthy  here  is  the  fact  that  the  verse  uses  the  expression  ya’kuluna  or  ‘eating’  of  riba  and,  by  application,  means  the  taking  and  using  of  riba.  This  may  be  in  eating  or  clothing  or  housing  and  its furnishings.  But,  it  was  identified  with  the  act  of  ‘eating’  because  that  which  is  eaten  cannot  possibly  be  retrieved,  contrary  to  other  type  of  uses  where  things  can  be  taken  back.  Therefore,  total  possession  and  monopoly  are  expressed  through  the  word,  ‘eating’.  This  metaphor is found,  not  only  in  the  Arabic  language,  but  in  Urdu,  Persian  and  several  other  languages  (English:  ‘eat’,  or  the  stronger  word,  ‘devour’). 

After  that,  comes  the  second  sentence,  in  which,  giving  the  reason  for  this  punishment  of  the  consumers  of  riba,  it  has  been  said  that  these  people  have  committed  two  crimes.  One:  They  consumed  the prohibited  (haraam)  by  dealing  in  riba.  Two:  They  took  it  to  be  lawful (halaal)  and,  in  reply  to  those  who  declared  it  to  be  haraam,  they  said  that  buying  and  selling  is  very  much  like  riba.  Just  as  ‘profit’  is  derived  from  riba,  so  is  profit  derived  from  buying  and  selling.  If  riba  is  haraam,  trade  should  be  haraam  too,  although  it  is  not  prohibited  in  the  sight  of  anyone. Here,  given  the  dictates  of  the  situation,  they  might  have  said  that  riba  is  also  like  trade  so,  when  trade  is  halaal, riba  should  be  halaal  too.  But  they,  by  changing  the  style  of  their  statement,  took  a  sort  of  mocking  plunge  at those  who  said  that  riba  was  haraam,  thereby  telling  them  in  effect  –  ‘if  you  say  riba  is  haraam, then  you  must  say  that  trade is  also  haraam’.

In  the  third  sentence,  in  reply  to  what  these  people  said,  Allah  Almighty  negated  their  position  by  saying  that  these  people  regard  riba  as  equal  to  trade,  although  there  is  a  world  of  difference  between the  two  in  accordance  with  the  will  and  command  of  Allah  Almighty.  When  He  has  made  the  one  halaal  and  the  other,  haraam  –  how  could they  be  equal? 

Keeping  this  reply  in  mind,  we  should  note  that  the  objection  raised  by  those  people  (the  defenders  of  riba)  was  based  on  a  purely rational  argument.  They  were  simply  saying  that  since  both  activities aimed  at  earning  profit,  their  governing  injunction  should  also  be  one and  the  same.  Praise  be  to  Allah  Almighty  that  He  did  not  answer  their  rational  doubt  by  a  parallel  rational  explanation.  Rather  on  the contrary,  answering  in  His  wisdom,  He  said  that Allah  Almighty  is  the absolute,  sovereign  master  of  all  and  He  alone  knows  the  harm  and  benefit,  the  good  and  bad  of  everything,  most  comprehensively.  When He  declares  something  to  be  Halaal,  and  something  else  to  be  haraam,  you  should  immediately  realize  that  there  must  be  some  loss  or  harm  or  evil  in  that  which  has  been  declared  haraam,  even  if  one  does  or  does not  see  through  it.  This  is  because  the  actual  reality  of  this  whole  system,  and  the  benefit  and  harm  that  lies  therein,  can  only  be encompassed  by  the  same  ‘Alim (the Knower)  and  Khabir  (the Aware),  from  Whose  reach  of  knowledge  the  minutest  particle  of  the  world  cannot  escape.  The  individuals  or  groups  in  this  world  can  identify  their  expedient  gains  and  their  losses,  but  they  just  cannot  claim  to  have  encompassed  the  entire  range  of  benefits  and  harms  affecting  the  whole  wide  world.  There  are  things  that  appear  to  be  beneficial  for  a certain  person  or  group  but,  when  looked  at  in  the  perspective  of  the  whole  nation  or  country,  the  same things  prove  to  be  harmful. 

Following  that,  it  is  said  in  the  third  sentence  that  a  person,  who  had  collected  some  money  before  riba  was  declared  haraam,  and  who repented  after  riba  was  declared  haraam,  and  promised  to  himself  that  he  would  not  go  near  it  in  the  future,  he  then,  will  find  that  the  amount  so  collected  belonged  to  him  based  on  the  outward  dictate  of  the  Shari’ah.  Now  remains  the  inward  affair,  that  of  his  sincere,  heart-felt  abstinence,  or  that  of  his  possible  hypocritical  repentance,  that  will  be  retired  as  a  matter  between  him  and  His  Lord.  If  the  repentance  comes  from  the  heart,  it  will  be  beneficial  in  the  sight  of  Allah,  otherwlse  it  will  pass  into  nothingness.  Common  people  have  no  right  to  doubt  about  it.  However,  one  who  hears  good  counsel,  yet  elects  to  revert  to  the  same  erroneous  pattern  of  word  and  deed,  for  such  people  Hell  is  the  place  to  go  since  this  act  of  eating  riba  is  a  sin.  And  since  their  saying,  that  riba  is  halaal  like  trade,  is  kufr,  they  will,  for  that  reason,  live  in  Hell  forever.

In  the  second  verse  (276),  it  was  said  that  Allah  Almighty eradicates  riba  and  lets  sadaqat  (charities)  grow.  Here  sadaqat  were  introduced  with  riba  by  virtue  of  a  unique  congruity.  It  will  be  noted that  there  is  contradiction  in  the  very  nature  of  riba  and  sadaqah,  then  their  outcomes  are  also  contradictory,  and  generally,  those  who  engage  in  these  two  have  contradictory  intentions  and  objectives.

The  contradiction  in  nature  can  be  explained  by  the  fact  that  in  sadaqah  one  gives  to  others  what  belongs  to  him  without  any  reward or  return,  while  in  riba,  that  which  belongs  to  others  is  taken  without any  compensation  or  return.  The  intention  and  the  objective  of  those  who  are  engaged  in  these  two  activities  is  contradictory  because  one  who  gives  sadaqah  elects  to  lessen  or  exhaust  what  belongs  to  him  exclusively  for  seeking  the  pleasure  of  Allah  Almighty  and  for  earning  merit  in  the  Hereafter;  while  the  riba-taker  is  eager  to  collect impermissible  increase  on  the  capital  he  already  has.  That  the outcome  of  both  is  contradictory  is  made  clear  by  this  verse  which  says that  Allah  Almighty  erases  the  gains  obtained  through  riba  or  takes away  its  barakah  (blissful  abundance);  and  increases  the  wealth,  or  its  barakah  for  the  giver  of  sadaqah. The  result  is  that  the  objective  of  the greedy  in  pursuit  of  wealth  is  not  achieved,  while  one  who  spends  in  the  way  of  Allah,  and  who  was  quite  happy  with  a  little  decrease  in  his belongings,  finds  it  full  of  Divine  barakah  whereby  his  wealth  increases,  or  its  end-products  do,  and  their  benefits  accumulate.

At  this  point,  it  may  be  interesting  to  find  out  what  is  the  meaning  of  erasing  riba  and  increasing  sadaqat  in  the  verse.  Some  commentators  have  said  that  this  erasing  and  increasing  relates  to  the Hereafter  where  the  riba-consumer  will  find  his  wealth  of  no  avail;  it  might  as well  become  a  curse  for  him;  while  those  who  are  engaged  in acts  of  sadaqah  and  khayrat  will  find  that  their  wealth  has  become  a  source  of  eternal  blessings.  This  is  absolutely  obvious  in  which  there  is no  doubt.  However,  according  to  the  consensus  of  commentators,  the  position  is  that  the  erasing  of  riba  and  the  increasing  of  sadaqah  is most  certainly  related  to  the  Hereafter,  but  some  of  its  traces  are  observed  in  this  world  as  well. 

The  money  or  property  of  which  riba  becomes  a  part  is  sometimes  destroyed  taking  with  it  all  that  was  before  it.  This  is  a  common  sight  in  markets  of  riba  and  stocks  where  millionaires  and  capitalists  of  yesterday  become  insolvents  and  paupers  of  today.  No  doubt,  there  are  chances  of  profit  and  loss  in  riba-free  business  activities  and  there  are many  businessmen  who  face  losses  in  business  deals  but  a  loss  that turns  a  millionaire  into  a  beggar  is  witnessed  only  in  riba  markets  and  stock  exchanges.  There  are  so  many  statements  of  the  experienced  and  the  knowledgeable  which  say  that  the  wealth  collected  through  riba  may  increase  faster  and  higher,  but  it  generally  does  not  survive  long  enough  to  run  through  children  and  there  successors.  In  between,  comes  some  calamlty  and  effaces  everything  out.  Sayyidina  Ma’mar  said  that  they  have  heard  from  their  elders  that  forty  years  hardly  pass  on  the  riba-consumer  when  muhaq  (major  loss)  overtakes  his wealth. 

May  be,  the  wealth  or  property  does  not  go  to  ruins  outwardly,  but  this  much  is  quite  certain  that  its  benefits,  utilities,  and  blessings  will  go  away.  Since  this  is  no  secret  that  gold  and  silver  are  not  desirable  or  useful  as  such.  They  cannot  remove  hunger  or  thirst.  They  cannot  help  beat  the  heat  or  serve  as  quilt  and  wrap  in  winter.  Neither  can they  be  used  as  clothes  or  utensils.  The  only  purpose  for  which  a  wise  person  goes  through  thousands  of  exercises  to  procure  and  secure  these  can  hardly  be  anything  else  except  that  gold  and  silver  are means  to  procure  things  that  go  to  make  man’s  life  pleasant  and  that  he  may  live  a  life  of  comfort  and  self-respect.  Then  comes  man’s natural  wish  that  his  children  and  relatives  should  also  enjoy  the same  comfort  and  self-respect  as he  did.

These  are  the  sort  of  things  that  can  be  called  the  benefits  and  utilities  of  wealth  and  property.  As  a  result,  we  can  safely  say  that  one  who  procures  these  benefits  and  utilities  has  his  wealth  increased  in  a  sense,  even  though  it  may  appear  to  have  decreased,  and  one  who procures  these  benefits  and  utilities  on  a  lower  scale  has  his  wealth  decreased  in  a  sense  even  though  it  may  appear  to  have  increased. 

After  having  understood  this,  let  us  compare  the  two  activities  of riba  dealings  and  sadaqah  and  khayrat.  It  will  soon  be  noticed  that  the  wealth  of  the  riba-consumer, no  doubt,  appears  to  be  increasing, but  that  increase  is  akin  to  the  swelling  of  the  human  body.  The  increase  in  swelling  is  after  all  an  increase  of  the  body  itself.  But  no  sane  person  would  like  to  have  this  sort  of  increase  because  he  knows  that  this  increase  is  a  certain  knock  of  death.  Similarly, no  matter  how increased  is  the  wealth  of  the  riba-consumer,  he  remains,  for  ever, deprived  of  its  fruits,  that  is,  comfort  and  honour.

Perhaps,  at  this  point,  a  doubt  may  bother  someone  in  view  of  the  comfort  and  status  enjoyed  by  the  riba-consumers  of  today.  Here  they are  with  their  mansions  and  villas,  living  in  every  luxury  money  can  buy,  attended  by  servants  and  maids,  having  the  best  to  eat, drink  and  sleep  –  necessities  and  absurdities  all  rolled  in  one.  A  little  thought  here  would  lead  every  sane  person  to  differentiate  between  the  articles  of  comfort  and  comfort  itself.  There  is  a  big  difference  between  the  two. The  articles  of  comfort  are  made  in  factories  and  sold  in  markets.  These  can  be  procured  aginst  gold  and  silver,  but  that  which  is  known as  comfort,  peace  and  bliss,  is  neither  made  in  any  factory  nor  sold  in any  market.  This  is  mercy  (rahmah) which  comes  directly  from  Allah Almighty.  There  are  occasions  when  this  cannot  be  procured  no  matter bow  much  one  holds  in  his  possession.  Just  think  of  the  comfort  of  a  sound  sleep.  In  order  to  have  it,  we  can  certainly  do  our  best  –  make  a sleep-oriented  house  which  is  the  best  possible,  perfect  arrangement  of  air  and  light,  cooling,  heating,  handsome  looking  furniture,  the  bed, the  mattress,  the  pillows,  all  chosen  ideally  –  but  can  we  be  sure  that  sleep  will  come  just  because  all  this  helpful  paraphernalia  is  there?  If  you  have  never  personally  experienced  this,  there  are  thousands  who  cannot  sleep  due  to  some  disease,  and  who  would  say  no.  Reports  from  a  country,  so  wealthy  and  ‘civilized’  as  USA,  reveal  that  seventy  per cent  people  cannot  sleep  without  sleeping  pills.  There  are  times  when even  these  do  not  work.  You  can  buy  from  stores  things  to  make  you  sleep  but  you  cannot  buy  sleep  from  any  store  at  any  price.  Similar  is the  case  of  other  articles  of  comfort  and  enjoyment.  You  can  buy  these  articles  against  money  but  it  is  not  necessary  that  you  do  experience comfort  and  enjoyment. 

Again,  after  having  understood  this,  if  we  look  closely  at  what happens  to  the  consumers  of  riba,  we  shall  find  that  they  have  everything  in  the  world  except  what  we  know  as  real  peace  and comfort.  So  intoxicated  they  are  in  turning  their  ten  million  into  fifteen  and  fifteen  into  twenty  that  they  have  no  time  to  eat,  or  dress  up,  or  be  with  their  wives  and  children.  There  are  factories  to  take  care  of.  There  are  foreign  ships  to  watch.  Anxieties  after  anxieties  chase  them  day  and  night.  With  them  they  sleep  and  with  them  they  rise.  How  terrible  of  these  crazy  people  who  have  confused  comfort  with  articles  of  comfort,  and  therefore,  they  are  far  far  away  from  it.

This  is  a  view  of  their  so-called  ‘comfort’.  Now  let  us  think  of  their  ideas  of  status,  prestige  and  fair  name.  The  fact  is  that  such  people become  hard-hearted  and  merciless.  Taking  advantage  of  the  poverty  of  the  poor  and  the  low  income  of  the  low-income  people  becomes  their very  occupation.  Like  parasites,  they  suck  their  blood  to  feed  their  own  bodies.  Since  that  is  that,  it  is  just  not  possible  that  people  will  ever respect  them.  Revealing  are  the  accounts  of  the  money-lenders  of  India  and  the  Jews  of  Syria.  If  you  see  them  as  they  are,  you  will  find  that  their  coffers  are  filled  with  gold  and  silver  and  precious  stones  yet  they are  given  no  respect  in  any  group  of  human  beings  in  any  corner  of  the  world.  Moreover,  the  inevitable  outcome  of  this  cruel  practice  of  theirs  is  that  the  poor  start  grudging  and  hating  them,  so  much  so  that  in  the  world  of  today  most  wars  are  an  expression  of  this  grudge  and  hate.  It  is  the  confrontation  between  labour  and  capital  that  introduced  the  ideologies  of  socialism  and  communism  in  the  world. The  subversive  activities  of  communism  are  a  result  of  this  grudge  and  hate.  The  whole  world  has  become  a  burning  cauldron  of  killings  and confrontations  because  of  these.  This  much  accounts  for  their  personal  comfort  and  social  prestige.  Experience  bears  out  that  riba-earnings never  make  even  the  life  of  their  children  pleasant.  Either  the  earnings  go  to  waste  or,  because  of  its  curse,  they  too,  remain  disgraced  and  deprived  of  the  real  fruits  of  wealth.  People  may  perhaps  be  deceived  by  the  example  of  the  riba-consumers  of  the  West,  wondering  how  rich  they  all  are  and  how  do  their  next  and  their  next generations  flourish.  To  this,  I  have  already  answered  by  presenting  a  brief  outline  of  their  so-called  prosperity.

Here  it  can  only  be  added  that  they  really  are  like  some  man-eater  who  nurses  his  body  by  feeding  on  the  blood  of  other  human  beings,  and  then  a  group  of  some  such  people  go  to  live  in  a  community  of  their  own,  and  you  take  someone  to  that  locality  to  show  him  how healthy  and  prosperous  all  of  them  happen  to  be.  But  an  intelligent  visitor  who  is  interested  in  the  welfare  of  humanity  will  never  want  to limit  his  visit  to  this  locality  alone;  on  the  contrary,  he  would  also  want  to  see  those  localities  where  the  blood  of  people  has  been  sucked  dry  leaving  them  half  dead.  One  who  has  seen  the  totality  of  such  localities  can  never  be  happy  with  the  locality  of  fat  man-eaters.  He  can  never  say  that  this  act  of  theirs  is  the  way  of  human  progress;  on  the  contrary,  he  will  have  no  option  but  to  declare  this  as  destruction  of  all  that  is  human.

Set  against  this  is  the  case  of  those  who  give  sadaqah  and  khayrat.  You  will  never  find  them  running  after  money  so  anxiously.  They  may  have  lesser  articles  of  comfort  but  they  shall  be  found  having  more satisfaction  and  peace  of  heart,  which  is  real  comfort,  as  compared  to  those  who  have  all  those  supporting  articles.  Consequently,  they  shall  be  looked  at  with  respect  and  admiration  by  every  human  being  of  the world.

Allah  destroys  riba  and  nourishes  charities.  

In  short,  the  above  statement  of  the  verse  is  very  clear  in  relation to  the  Hereafter.  However,  if  we  wish  to  understaiid,  with  a  little  effort,  it  is  equally  open  in  respect  of  this  worldly  life.  This  is  what  is meant  by  the  hadith  in  which  the  Holy  Prophet  (sallallaahu  alayhi  wasallam)  said: 

No  matter  how  much  riba  increases,  it  will  decrease  ultimately. [Musnad Ahmad  and  Ibn  Majah]

At  the  end  of  the  verse  (276),  it  is  said  that  Allah  Almighty  does  not  like  any  disbeliever,  any  sinner.  Here  it  has  been  indicated  that  those  who  just  do  not  hold  riba  as  haraam  have  fallen  into  kufr  (disbelief); and  those  who  do  know  it  to  be  haraam,  yet  get  involved  with  it,  are  sinners,  transgressors  or  fasiq.

The  third  verse  (277)  mentions  the  great  reward  of  peace  and comfort  that  awaits  the  truly  believing  and  practising  Muslims,  who  are  steadfast  in  Salah  and  Zakah.  Since,  in  the  verse  previous  to  this,  the  punishment  of  Hell  and  the  disgrace  the  consumers  of  riba  will  be  facing  was  mentioned,  so  in  accordance – with  the  general  style  of  the noble  Qur’an,  the  merit  –  in  Akhirah  –  of  the  believing-practising Muslims,  those  steadfast  in  Salah  and  Zakah,  was  mentioned  alongside.

The  gist  of  the  fourth  verse  (278): “O  those  who  believe,  fear  Allah  and  give  up  what  still  remains  of  the  riba  if  you  are  believers” is  that,  after  the  revelation  that  prohibited  riba, the  giving  and  taking  of  the  amount  of  riba  that  remained  due  against  anyone  was  also  prohibited. 

Explaining  this,  it  can  be  said  that  riba  was  rampant  all  over Arabia  before  it  was  prohibited  by  revelation.  When  verses  earlier  than  the  present  one  brought  forth  its  prohibition,  Muslims  –  following their  Qur’an-oriented  habit  –  abandoned  all  their  riba-related  dealings.  But  some  people  had  claims  of  unpaid  riba  amounts  on  some  others.  In  that  connection,  it  so  happened  that  Banu  Thaqif  and  Banu  Makhzum,  two  Arab  tribes,  had  mutual  riba  dealings  and  people  from  Banu Thaqif  had  claims  of  unpaid  riba  amounts  against  Banu  Makhzum.  When  Banu  Makhzum  became  Muslims  they,  after  having  made  their  commitment  to  Islam,  thought  it  to  be  impermissible  to  pay  back  the amount  of  riba  due.  On  the  other  side  were  Banu  Thaqif;  their  people  started  pressing  their  claim.  Since  these  people  had  become  Muslims, but  did  have  a  mutual  peace  agreement,  the  people  of  Banu  Makhzum  told  them  that  they  had  now  entered  the  fold  of  Islam  and  had  no  intention  of  spending  their  Islamic  earnlngs in  paying  off  riba.

This  dispute  rose  in  Makkah.  That  was  a  time  after  the  conquest  of Makkah.  Sayyidina  Mu’adh  radhiyallahu anhu  (according  to  another  report, Sayyidina  ‘Attab  ibn  ‘Asid  radhiyallahu  anhu)  was  the  Amir  of  Makkah,  governor  of  the  city,  appointed  by  the  Holy  Prophet  (sallallaahu  alayhi  wasallam).  He  reported  this  dispute  in  writing  to  him  requesting  his  guidance.  It  was  in  this  background  that  this  verse  of  the  Qur’an  was  revealed,  the  gist  of  which  is  that  all  previous  dealings  involving  riba  should  be  terminated  after  entry  into  the  fold  of  Islam,  also  no  previous  riba  amount  should  be  realized.  The  principal  was  all  that  could  be  taken.

When  this  Islamic  law  was  enforced,  the  Muslims  were  already  bound  by  it.  The  non-Muslim  tribes  who  had  accepted  the  Islamlc  law  as  party  in  peace  treaties,  they  too,  were  bound  by  it.  But,  in  spite  of this,  when  the  Holy  Prophet  (sallallaahu  alayhi  wasallam) announced  this  law  in  his  famous  Address  of  the  Last  Hajj,  he  made  it  a  point  to  say  that  this  law  does  not  carry  behind  it  the  financial  interest  of  any  individual,  or nation,  or  Muslims  themselves.  This  has  been  brought  into  force  to  reconstruct,  reform  and  better  the  whole  humanity.  Therefore,  first  of  all,  we  let  go  large  amounts  of  riba  owed  by  non-Muslims  to  Muslims.  Now  they  too  should  have  no  excuse  in  leaving  off  the  amount  of  riba  they  claimed.  As  he  said  in  his  Address:

which  means  that  the  riba  content  of  all  riba  dealings  made  in  the  age of  ignorance  stood  forsaken.  Now  everyone  will  get  the  principal  and  no  one  will  get  the  extra  amount  of  riba ‘Neither  shall  you  be  able  to  do  injustice  to  anyone  by  charging  an  increased  amount,  nor  shall  anyone  be  able  to  do  injustice  to  you  by  decreasing  the  amount  of  your principal.’ And  the  first  riba  that  was  surrendered  was  the  riba  of  Sayyidina  ‘Abbas  ibn  ‘Abd  al-Muttalib  (radhiyallahu  anhu),  large  amounts  of  which  were  due  on  non-Muslims  in  the  form  of  riba

The  subject  verse  refers  to  this  happening  and  sets  out  the  injunction  to  leave  off  all  standing  riba  amounts. 

As  the  verse  opens  addressed  to  Muslims,  they  were  first  given  the  command  of  Ittaqullah  that  is,  ‘fear  Allah.’  Given  after  that  was  the injunction  covering  the  real  issue.  This  is  the  same  unique  style  of  the Qur’an  which  distinguishes  it  from  all  the  law  books  of  the  world. When  a  law,  which  is  somewhat  difficult  to  act  upon,  is  given,  it  has the  prefixes  and  suffixes  of  accountability  of  deeds  before  Allah  Almighty,  and  the  punishment  and  reward  of  the  Hereafter,  so  that  Muslim  minds  and  hearts  become  prepared  to  act  upon  it;  the injunction  is  announced  after  that.  Here  too,  the  forsaking  of  the  amount  of  matured  riba  could  weigh  heavy  on  human  disposition, I  therefore,  said  first  was  Ittaqullah (fear  Allah).  After  that,  came  the injunction,  ‘leave  off  riba  that  remains.’   Towards  the  end  of  the  verse  it  was  said,  ‘if  you  are believers.’  Here  it  was  indicated  that  ‘Iman  (faith, belief)  requires  that  Divine  injunctions  should  be  followed  faithfully.  Acting  otherwise  negates  ‘Iman.  Since  this  injunction  was  somewhat  heavy  on  temperaments, Ittaqullah (Fear  Allah)  was  added  before  it,  and (If  you  are believers)  after  it.

After  that,  in  the  fifth  verse  (279),  severe  warning  has  been  given  to  those  who  act  contrary  to  this  injunction.  They  are  told  if  they  do  not  abandon  riba,  they  must  face  a  declaration  of  war  from  Allah Almighty  and  His  Messenger.  So  severe  is  this  warning  that  any  other  warning  of  such  severity  does  not  appear  anywhere  in  the  Qur’an  in relation  to  any  other  sin,  no  matter  how  great,  except  kufr  (disbelief),  of  course.  The  verse  then  closes  with  the  words: ‘if  you  repent  and  resolve  to  leave  off  the  remaining  amount  of  riba  in  future,  you  will  get  your  principal.

Neither  will  you  be  able  to  do  injustice  to  anyone  by  extracting  more  than  your  principal,  nor  will  anyone  be  able  to  do  Injustice  to  you  by decreasing  or  delaying  the  return  of  your  principal.’  Here  the  receipt  of  the  principal  has  been  conditioned  by  saying  that  you  repent,  and  resolve  that  you  will  abandon  riba  in  future,  and  only  then,  you  shall get  your  principal.

Evidently  this  indicates  if  repentance  (Taubah) was  not  done  by  resolving  to  give  up  riba,  receiving  the  principal  will  no  more  be  in order.  Here  are  the  related  detalls.  Take  the  case  of  a  person  who  just does  not  believe  that  riba  could  be  haraam  and  therefore,  he  does  not repent  and  resolve  that  he  will  have  nothing  to  do  with  riba  anymore  – then  this  person  goes  out  of  the  fold  of  Islam  and  becomes  an  apostate (murtad). The  injunction  governing  an  apostate  is  that  his  belongings  go  out  of  his  possession.  As  a  consequence,  that  which  he has  earned  during  the  period  he  was  a  Muslim,  goes  to  his  Muslim inheritors,  and  that  which  he  earns  after  involvement  with  kufr  is deposited  in  the  Baytul-Mal  (Baytul-Mal:  the  Exchequer  of  an  Islamic State).  Therefore,  should  his  non-repentance  be  because  he  considers  riba  to  be  halaal,  he  will  not  be  entitled  to  receive  even  his  principal. And  if  he  does  not  go  to  the  limit  of  considering  riba  as  halaal  but, nevertheless,  in  actual  practice,  does  not  stop  gettlng  involved  with  it and,  on  top  of  that,  gangs  up  with  his  kind  and  stands  in  confrontation with  the  Islamic  government,  he  then  is  a  rebel.  His  belongings  too, are  confiscated  and  placed  as  trust  in  the  Baytul-Mal,  so  that  it  could  be  given  back  to  him  when  he  repents.  Perhaps,  it  is  to  point  out  to  such  details  that  it  was  said  in  the  form  of  a  condition  which  implies  that,  if  you  do  not  repent,  even  your  principal  will  be  held  back. 

After  that  there  is  the  sixth  verse  (280)  which,  in  comparison  to  the anti-human  claim  of  riba,  has  stressed  upon  pure  moral  behavior  of showing  lenience  to  the  poor  and  the  have-nots.  It  is  said  that,  if  your borrower  is  too  poor  to  pay  back  your  loan,  the  provision  of  Shari’ah  is that  he  be  given  time  until  he  has  the  means,  and  should  you  forgive  him  your  loan,  it  is  much  better  for  you.

The  general  habit  of  riba-consumers  is  that  they,  once  they  know  that  their  borrower   is  poor  and  cannot  pay  the  loan  back  at  the  appointed  time,  add  up  the  riba  amount  in  the  principal  unleashing  a vicious  series  of  riba  over  riba,  even  increasing  the  rate  of  riba  in  that  process. 

Here  Allah  Almighty,  the  wisest  of  all  law-givers,  gave  the  law  that  a  genuinely  poor  borrower  who  is  unable  to  pay  back  his  loan  should not  be  harassed.  Instead,  he  should  be  given  respite  until  such  time  that  he  becomes  capable  of  doing  so.  Along  with  it  was  given  the inducement  to  forgive  the  loan  which  is  more  beneficial  for  the  lender.

The  word,  sadaqah  has  been  used  here  by  the  Qur’an  to  mean  the  act  of  forgiving.  The  hint  given  is  that  this  forgiveness  will  become  an  act  of  charity  in  your  case  and  will  bring  forth  great  merit.  As  for  the statement  –  ‘if  you  forgive,  that  is  better  for  you’  –  it  can  be  said  that  this  action  was  obviously  a  matter  of  total  loss  for  them  because  they were  not  only  being  asked  to  surrender  riba  but  also  were  going  to  lose  their  own  principal!  Still,  the  Qur’an  called  it  ‘better’  (khayr). There are  two  reasons  for  this:

1.  This  betterment  will  be  witnessed  soon  after  the  transitory  life  of  this  world  when,  in  lieu  of  this  insignificant  earning,  one  will  get  the  eternal  blessings  of  Paradise.

2.  Perhaps  there  may  be  yet  another  hint  towards  the  possibility  that  one  will  himself  see  how  good  comes  out  of  his  deeds.  There  will be  barakah  (increase, bliss)  in  what  one  has.  The  essence  of  barakah  is  that  a  little  serves  to  take  care  of  a  lot  more  needs,  even  without  a quantitative  increase  in  what  one  has.  As  such,  it  is  commonly  witnessed  that  there  is  unlimited  barakah  in  the  wealth  of  those  who  spend  in  sadaqah  and  khayrat.  The  little  they  have  serves  to  take  care of  so  many  needs  which  will  never  be  liquidated  with  large  amounts  of  money  spent  by  those  whose  money  is  haraam  (unlawful).

Then  there  is  the  wealth  not  blessed  with  barakah.  One  never  realizes  the  purpose  for  which  it  is  spent.  Or,  it  so  happens  that  such  rich  people  have  to  spend  huge  amounts  of  money  on  undesirable  heads  such  as  medicines,  treatment  and  consultancy  fees,  which  is something  the  poor  do  not  face.  First  of  all,  Allah  Almighty  blesses  them  with  health  which  frees  them  from  spending  on  their  treatment and,  in  case  they  do  fall  ill,  ordinary  treatment  gives  them  their  health  back.  Seen  from  this  angle,  forgiving  the  poor  person  the  loan  due  to  him,  which  is  apparently  a  matter  of  loss,  becomes  under  this  Qur’anic  teachings,  a  beneficial  act.

This  teaching  of  giving  respite  to  a  poor  borrower  has  also  been  commended  in authentic  ahadith  some  of  which  are  reproduced  below.

According  to  a  hadith  in  the  Mu’jim  of  al-Tabarani,  a  person  who  wishes  to  be  under  the  shadow  of  divine  mercy  when  there  will  be  no  other  shadow  for  anyone  to  hide  under,  he  should  treat  the  poor  borrower  with  lenience  and  deferment,  or  forgive  him  the  debt,  if  it comes  to  that. 

Another  hadith  similar  to  this  appears  in  Sahih  Muslim  as  well.  It  is  said  in  a  hadith  from  the  Musnad  of  Ahmad  that  the  person  who grants  respite  to  a  penniless  borrower  will  get  a  daily  thawab  of  sadaqah  in  proportion  to  the  amount  due  against  that  borrower.  And  this  calculation  covers  the  act  of  giving  respite  well  before  the  deadline  for  repayment  arrives;  and  when  the  deadline  for  repayment  does  arrive  and  the  borrower  does  not  have  the  means  to  pay,  the  respite  given  at  that  time  will  bring  forth  for  the  giver  of  respite  a  daily  thawab  of  giving  twice  that  amount  in  sadaqah.

Another  hadith  says  that  a  person  who  wishes  that  his  prayer  be answered,  or  his  misfortune  be  removed,  he  should  give  respite  to  the  penniless  in  debt.

In  the  last  verse  (281),  there  appear  again  the  subjects  of  the  fear  of  the  Last  Day,  its  accounting,  its  rewards  and  punishment,  at  which  end   these  verses  containing  the  injunctions  of  riba.  It  was  said  in  this  last  verse: 

That  is,  fear  a  day  on  which  all  of  you  will  be  assembled  before  Allah  when  everyone  will  be  fully  and  equitably  recompensed  for  his  deeds  and  they  will  not  be  wronged.

Sayyidina  ‘Abdullah  ibn  ‘Abbas  (radhiyallahu anhu)  says  that  this  verse  is  the  last  in  the  order  of  its  revelation.  No  other  verse  was  revealed  after that.  Thirty-one  days  later,  the  Holy  Prophet  (sallallaahu  alayhi  wasallam)  left  this  mortal  world.  There  are  other  reports  which  say  that  this  happened  after  only  nine  days.  Upto  this  point,  the  explanations  have  been  restricted  to  the  verses of  Surah  al-Baqarah  which  concern  the  injunctions  of  riba.  Dealing  with  the  unlawfulness  and  prohibition  of  riba,  there  are  in  the  noble  Qur’an  seven  verses  of  Surah  al-Baqarah  cited  above,  one  verse  in Surah  Al-‘Imran  and  two  verses  in  Surah  an-Nisa’.  There  is  yet another  verse  in  Surah  al-Rum  the  explanations  of  which  differ.  Some  have  taken  it  too  in  the  sense  of  usury  or  interest,  while  others  hold  that  it  has  some  other  connotation.  Thus  there  are  ten  verses  of  the  Holy  Qur’an  which  carry  the  injunctions  of  riba  or  interest.

Before  we  get  to  know  the  whole  truth  about  riba,  it  seems appropriate  that  the  translation  and  explanation  of  the  rest  of  the  verses  which  appear  in  the  Surahs  Al-‘Imran,  al-Nisa’  and  al-Rum,  should  be  given  here  so  that  it  becomes  easy  for  us  to  understand  the true  nature  of  riba  in  the  combined  perspective  of  all  these  verses. Verse  130, of  Surah aal-‘Imran  reads  as  follows:

O  those  who  believe,  do  not  eat  Riba  (usury or  interest)  multiplied  many  times.  And  fear  Allah,  so  that  you  may  be  successful.   

There  is  a  special  event  behind  the  revelation  of  this  verse.  In pre-Islam  Arabia,  the  general  pattern  of  riba  transactions  was  that  loans  were  given  on  riba  for  a  set  period  of  time;  when  that  period  expired  and  the  borrower  was  unable  to  pay  it  back,  he  was  given  an extension  of  time  on  the  condition  that  the  amount  of  riba  was  to  be increased.  Similarly,  if  payment  was  not  made  even  on  the  expiry  of the  second  deadline,  the  amount  of  riba  was  further  increased.  This fact  is  mentioned  in  general  books  of  tafsir, specially  in  Lubab al-Nuqul, on  the  authority  of  Mujahid.

The  verse  was  revealed  to  eradicate  this  inhuman  custom  of  pre-Islam  Arabia.  Therefore,  by  saying  ‘multiplied  many  times’  in  the  verse,  their  prevailing  practice  was  condemned  and  they  were  warned  on  their  selfishness  and  anti-community  conduct,  and  naturally  so,  it  was  declared  prohibited.  This  does  not  mean  that  riba  will  not  be  prohibited  if  it  happens  not  to  be  multiplied  many  times,  because  the  absolute  prohibition  of  riba  has  been  very  clearly  stated  in  Surah  al-Baqarah  and  Surah  al-Nisa’,  Irrespective  of  its  being  doubled  or  multiplied  many  times.  This  is  like  it  has  been  said  at several  places  in  the  Holy  Qur’an: Do not  take  a  paltry  price  in  exchange  of  My  verses. The  expression  ‘paltry  price’  was  used  here  to  indicate  that  even  if  the  kingdom  of  the  whole  world  was  taken  in  exchange  for  the  Divinely  revealed  verses,  the  price  will  still  be  ‘paltry.’  It  does  not  mean  that  taking  a  paltry  price  against  the  verses  of  the  Qur’an  is  haraam,  but  taking  a  higher  price  would  be  permissible.  Similarly,  the  expression  ‘multiplied  many  times’,  has  been  introduced  only  to  focus  attention  on  their  shameful  method  and  it  is  not  a  necessary  condition  for  the  prohibition.

Moreover,  if  we  think  about  the  prevalent  methods  of  riba, we  will  reach  the  conclusion  that  once  the  habit  of  taking  riba  is  settled,  the  riba  does  not  remain  simple  riba  anymore;  it  necessarily  becomes doubled  and  multiplied  because  the  amount  accrued  from  riba  becomes  a  part  of  the  total  amount  owned  by  the  creditor  and,  when  he  further  circulates  this  additional  amount  of  riba  on  interest  or  usury,  the  riba becomes  multiplied.  Should  this  chain  action  go  on  building  up, nothing  can  stop  it  from  becoming  multiplied  many  times. This  way  every  riba  will  end  up  increasing  several  times. 

Having  dealt  with  verse  130 of  Surah Aal-Imran,  let  us  now  look  at  the  two  verses, 160  and  161  of  Surah  al-Nisa’  which  concern  riba. These  are  as follows:

So,  for  the  transgression  of  those  who  became  Jews,  We  prohibited  for  them  the  good  things  earlier  made  lawful  for  them  and  for  their  preventing  (people)  frequently  from  the  way  of  Allah,  and  for  their  taking  riba  (usury  or  interest) while  they  were  forbidden  from  it,  and  for  their  eating  up  the  properties  of  the  people  by  false  means.  And  We  have  prepared,  for  the  disbelievers  among  them,  a  painful  punishment.   

These  two  verses  tell  us  that  riba  was  equally  prohibited  under  the law  of  Sayyidina  Musa  (alayhissalaam).  When  the  Jews  opposed  it,  they  were  appropriately  punished  in  their  worldly  life  when  they  started  devouring  the  unlawful  just  out  of  greed  for  the  mortal  gains  of  the world,  consequently  then,  Allah  Almighty  declared  some  lawful  things  prohibited  for  them.

Verse  39  of  Surah  al-Rum  is  as follows:

And  what  you  give  in  usury,  that  it  may  increase  upon  the people’s  wealth,  increases  not  with  God;  but  what  you  give  in alms,  desiring  God’s  Face,  –  they  shall  receive  recompense manifold. [30:39]

Some  commentators  have  taken  this  verse,  like  others  mentioned earlier,  to  be  dealing  with  interest  or  usury  in  view  of  the  use  of  the word  riba  meaning  ‘increase’  in  the  text.  According  to  them,  the  verse means  that  money  does  seem  to  increase  apparently  by  taking  interest,  but  in  fact,  it  does  not.  It  is  like  the  case  of  a  person  whose  body  gets  swollen.  Obviously  this  ‘increases’  his  body  but  no  sane  person  would  be  happy  with  this  sort  of  ‘increase’.  On  the  contrary,  he  would  regard  it  as  death  in  the  offing.  As  compared  to  this,  the  giving  of  zakah  and  sadaqah  does  seem  to  decrease  the  wealth  apparently,  but  that  is  no  decrease  in  fact,  rather  on  the  contrary,  it  is  the  source of  thousands  of  increases.  It  is  like  someone  who  takes  purgative  as system-cleanser  or  lets  blood  as  a  therapeutic  measure;  he  looks  weak  on  the  outside  and  seems  to  miss  something  in  his  body  but  those  who  know  regard  this  ‘decrease’  to  be  a  fore-runner  of  his  ‘increase’  in  health  and  strength.

According  to  some  scholars  of  tafsir,  this  verse  does  not  refer  to  the  prohibition  of  usury  or  interest  at  all,  rather,  the  word  ‘riba’  used  in  that  verse  refers  to  a  gift  presented  to  someone,  not  in  good  faith,  but  with  the  intention  that  it  would  bring  back  some  better  gift  in  return  from  the  receiver.  The  gifts  of  this  type  are  in  vogue  in  some communities  at  the  time  of  marital  ceremonies.  Since  this  type  of  giving  is  to  seek  selfish  ends  and  not  to  seek  the  pleasure  of  Allah  Almighty,  therefore,  it  was  said  in  the  verse  that  by  doing  so  your wealth  may  seem  to  increase,  but  actually  it  does  not  increase  with  Allah,  while  that  which  is  given  as  zakah  and  sadaqat  to  seek  the pleasure  of  Allah  Almighty  goes  on  to  double  and  redouble  with  Allah.
According  to  this  explanation,  the  sense  of  the  verse  will  match with  what  was  said  addressing  the  Holy  Prophet  (sallallaahu  alayhi  wasallam)  in  another  verse  (74:6): that  is,  do  not  do  favour  to  anyone  with  the  intention  that  it  may  bring  to  you  some  added  benefit  in  return.

This  second  explanation  appears  to  be  obviously  weightier  in  connection  with  this  verse  of  Surah  al-Rum.  Firstly,  because  Surah  al-Rum  is  Makki.  Although,  it  is  not  necessary  that  every  verse  in  a  Makki  Surah  is  revealed  in  Makkah,  yet  there  exists  strong  probability  that  it  is  so  unless  proved  otherwise.  And  in  case  the  verse  is  Makki,  it  cannot  be  interpreted  to  carry  the  sense  of  the  prohibition  of  riba  because  the  prohibition  of  riba  came  by  revelation  in  Madinah.  In  addition  to  this,  the  subject  dealt  with  earlier  than  this  verse  also  indicates  a  tilt  towards  this  explanation.  There  it  was  said: ‘Give  to  the  relative  his  due,  and  to  the  poor  and  the  wayfarer.  This  is  better  for  those  who  seek  the pleasure  of  Allah.’

In  this  verse,  it  has  been  stated  that  spending  on  relatives,  the  poor  and  the  wayfarers  can  become  an  act  of  thawab  only  on  the condition  that  the  intention  behind  it  should  be  that  of  seeking  the  pleasure  of  Allah  Almighty.  Then,  following  that,  in  the  verse  under  discussion,  it  was  further  explained  that  financial  help  given  to  someone  with  the  hope  that  it  will  bring  back  greater  return  from  the receiver  of  the  help  is  certainly  no  spending  in  the  way  of  Allah  where  the  purpose  is  hardly  to  seek  His  pleasure.  As  a  result,  this  will  bring no  thawiib.

Anyhow,  there  are,  beside  this  particular  verse,  several  other verses  cited  earlier  which  do  deal  with  the  prohibition  of  riba.  Out  of  these,  there  is  the  verse  from  Surah Al-‘Imran  which  prohibits  doubled and  multiplied  riba;  the  rest  of  the  verses  state  the  prohibition  of  riba as  such.  These  details,  at  the  least,  clear  this  much  that  riba  is  haraam  (unlawful)  anyway,  be  it  doubled  and  multiplied,  simple  or  compound. It  may  be  kept  in  mind  that  the  degree  of  its  being  haraam  is  so  severe  that  a  declaration  of  war  has  been  made  on  behalf  of  Allah  and  His Messenger  against  those  who  challenge  the  injunction.

Some  additional  details  about  Riba

Since  riba  has  become  the  supporting  pillar  of  the  prevailing  trading  system  today,  it  is  commonly  noticed  that  people  are  usually disposed  to  balk  at  the  idea  of  its  unlawfulness  when  confronted  with  its  prohibition  under  the  verses  of  the  Book  of  Allah  and  the  Traditions  of  the  Holy  Prophet  (sallallaahu  alayhi  wasallam).  Rather  than  understand  and  explain  its  real  nature,  they  tend  to  diffuse  the  issue  with  excuses.  I  wish  to  state  humbly  that  the  issue  has  to  be  first  analysed  and discussed  sanely  by  taking  up  each  aspect  in  its  proper  setting,  without  which  we  are  sure  to  end  up  confusing  issues.  There  are  three  parts  of  this  discussion:

1.  What  is  the  real  nature  of  riba  in  the  Qur’an  and  Sunnah, and  what  forms  it  does  it  cover?

2.  What  is  the  wisdom  behind  the  prohibition  of  this  riba?

3.  Granted  that  riba,  no  matter  how  evil  it  may  be,  has  become  a  pillar  of  the  economic  system  all  over  the  contemporary  world.  Now  if  we  were  to  abandon  it,  under  injunctions  of  the  Qur’an,  how  will  the  system  of  banking  and  trade  run?

To  begin  with,  the  word,  Riba  is  a  well-known  word  in  the Arabic  language.  This  word  was  known,  not  only  since  the  blessed  appearance  of  the  noble  Prophet  (sallallaahu  alayhi  wasallam),  but  also  during  the  time  when  Arabia  was  pagan  and  the  Qur’an  was  not  yet  revealed.  Moreover,  the verses  of  Surah  al-Nisa’  also  tell  us  that  the  word  riba  and  its  related dealings  were  equally  well-known  during  the  times  of  the  Torah,  where  too,  it  was  declared  haraam  (unlawful). 

It  is  obvious  that  riba  was  known,  since  ages  in  Arabia  and  its  environs.  Continuous  transactions  were  being  made  as  an  established  custom.  When  the  Qur’an  was  revealed,  it  not  only  prohibited  riba  but also  gave  the  information  that  riba  was  made  unlawful  for  the  community  of  Musa  (alayhissalaam)  as  well.  How  then,  can  the  nature  of  this word  become  something  so  ambiguous  that  it  starts  presenting  difficulties  in understanding  and  explaining its  meaning  and  applications?

This  is  the  reason  why,  in  the  year  of  Hijrah  8,  when  the  verses  of  Surah  al-Baqarah  relating  to  the  unlawfulness  of  riba  were  revealed,  there  appears  no  report  from  the  noble  Companions  anywhere  which  may  indicate  that  they  had  to  face  any  doubt  In  understanding  the real  nature  of  riba,  and  that  they  had  to  go  as  far  as  to  verify  it  with the  Holy  Prophet  (sallallaahu  alayhi  wasallam)  himself, something  they  did  in  other  matters.  On  the  contrary,  just  as  they  immediately  acted  upon  the  injunction  prohibiting  liquor  the  moment  it  was  revealed,  very  similarly,  they abandoned  all  riba  transactions  the  moment  the  injunction  prohibiting riba  was  revealed.  The  Muslims  just  cancelled  all  riba  amounts  that  non-Muslims  owed  to  them  on  all  their  deals  made  before  the prohibition.  Then,  the  case  of  Muslims  who  did  not  wish  to  give  riba  amounts  they  owed  was  brought  to  the  court  of  the  Amir  of  Makkah.  He  inquired  the  Holy  Prophet  (sallallaahu  alayhi  wasallam).  The  deciding  injunction  was revealed  by  Allah  Almighty  through  the  verses  of  Surah  al-Baqarah  which  declared  that  it  was  also  not  permissible  now  to  give  or  take  riba  amounts that  belonged  to  the  previous  times. 

Here  the  non-Muslims  might  have  found  the  ground  to  question  as  to  why  should  they  suffer  loss  of  money  because  of  an  injunction  of Islamic  law?  Therefore,  in  order  to  offset  that  possibility,  the  Holy  Prophet  (sallallaahu  alayhi  wasallam)  made  it  clear  in  his  Address  of  the  Last  Hajj  that  this  injunction  of  Islamic  law  affects,  not  only  the  non-Muslims,  but  also  the  Muslims  in  an  equal  degree.  And  the  very  first  amount  of  riba  that was  written  off  was  the  enormous  amount  which  belonged  to  Sayyidina  ‘Abbas  (radhiyallahu  anhu), the  respected  uncle  of  the  Holy  Prophet  (sallallaahu  alayhi  wasallam). 

In  short,  when  riba  was  prohibited,  its  meaning  was  no  secret.  It  was  a  known  practice.  It  was  the  same  riba  as  the  Arabs  used  to  give and  take  it  and  called  it  as such.  The  Qur’an  made  it  haraam,  and  the  Holy  Prophet  (sallallaahu  alayhi  wasallam)  enforced  the  ruling,  not  in  the  form  of  some  moral  teaching,  but  as  the  law  of  the  land.  However,  he  did  include  certain forms  of  transactions  under  riba  which  were  not  generally  held  to  be riba.  It  was  the  determining  of  these  very  forms  that  posed  difficulties for  Sayyidina  ‘Umar (radhiyallahu  anhu),  and  here  it  was  that  the  leading  jurists  of  Islam  differed;  otherwise,  the  real  riba,  which  the  Arabs  knew  by that  very  name,  was  never  doubted  or  questioned  by  anybody  as  there  was  no  reason  to  do  so.

Now  let  us  find  out  what  riba  the  Arabs  were  used  to.  The renowned  commentator,  Ibn  Jarir  has  reported  from  Sayyidina  Mujahid  that  the  riba  practised  in  pagan  Arabia  which  was  prohibited  by  the  Qur’an  consisted  of  giving  loan  for  a  fixed  period  and  then taking  a  fixed  increase  over  and  above  the  principal.  If  the  loan  was  not  paid  back  on  the  fixed  date,  an  extension  of  time  was  granted  on  condition  that  the  riba  was  to  be  further  increased.  The  same information  has  been  reported  from  Sayyidina  Qatadah  (radhiyallahu  anhu)  from  other  leading  commentators.  (Tafsir Ibn  Jarir, page 62, volume 3)

Abu  Hayyan  al-Gharnati,  the  famous  commentator  from  Andulusia  (Spain)  has,  in  his  commentary – al-Bahr  al-Muhit,  reported  the  same  form  of  riba  prevailing  in  pagan  Arabia,  that  is,  they  advanced  a  loan, took  their  ‘profit’  on  it,  and  if  the  time  for  repayment  was  to  be extended  beyond  the  first  due  date,  they  increased  the  amount  of  interest  In  that  proportion.  This  was  called  riba.  These  were  the  people  of  the  same  pagan  Arabia  who  said  that  taking  ‘profit’  when  they  give  their  money  on  loan  should  also  be  permissible  similar  to  buying  and selling  where  taking  ‘profit’  is  permissible.  The  Holy  Qur’an  declared this  to  be  haraam  and  made  it  clear  that  the  injunctions  governing  buying  and  selling  were  different. The  same  subject  has  been  authentically  narrated  in  all  reliable books  of  Tafasir, such  as,  Tafsir  Ibn  Kathir, al-Tafsir al-Kabir and  Ruh al-Ma’ani  etc.

Ibn  al-‘Arabi  has  said  in Ahkam  al-Qur’an:

Lexically,  riba  means  increase,  and  in  the  verse,  it  means  the increase  against  which  there  is  nothing  in  exchange  but  a loan  and  its  time. 

Imam  al-Razi  has  said  in  his  Tafsir  that  riba  takes  two  forms.  It could  be  riba  in  trading  transactions,  and  in  loans.  This  second  formwas  what  commonly  prevailed  in  Jahiliyyah  or  pagan  Arabia.  The  known  practice  was  that  they  would  give  their  money  on  loan  to  someone  for  a  fixed  period  of  time  and  receive  ‘profit’  against  it  every month.  If  the  borrower  failed  to  pay  back  at  the  appointed  time,  the time-limit  was  extended  on  condition  that  the  amount  of  riba  was  to  be further  increased.  This  was  the  riba  of  the  Age  of  Ignorance (Jahiliyyah)  which  was  declared  haraam  (unlawful) by  the  Holy  Qur’an.

In  Ahkam  al-Qur’an,  Imam  al-Jassas  defines  riba  as  follows:

The  loan  given  for  a  certain  time  on  condition  that  the  borrower  will  pay  an  increased  amount  above  the  principal.  In  hadith, the  Holy  Prophet  (sallallaahu  alayhi  wasallam)  has  defined  ribiiby  saying:

The  loan  that  draws  profit  is  riba.   

This  hadith  appears  in  al-Jami’ al-Saghir  and  al-Azizi  calls  it  hasan

To  sum  up,  the  giving  of  loan  and  then  taking  ‘profit’  on  it  is  riba, which  was  widely  known  and  practised  during  the  Jahiliyyah  in  Arabia,  which  was  clearly  declared  haraam  by  the  subject  verse  of  the  Holy  Qur’an,  and  which  was  abandoned  by  the  noble  Companions  the  moment  these  verses  were  revealed,  and  the  Holy  Prophet  (sallallaahu  alayhi  wasallam)  enforced  its  prohibition  through  his  judgments  in  the  legal  suits.  As  there  was  no  ambiguity  in its  connotation,  nobody  faced  any  doubt  or  difficulty  in understanding  the  term.

However,  the  Holy  Prophet  (sallallaahu  alayhi  wasallam)  did  include  some  forms  of  buying and  selling  within  the  range  of  riba  which  the  Arabs  did  not  take  as  riba.  For  instance,  in  the  buying  and  selling  of  six  commodities  on  barter  basis,  he  ruled  that  they  be  exchanged  like  for  like,  equal  for  equal,  and  hand-to-hand.  Any  deviation  in  measure,  more  or  less, and  any  credit-oriented  transaction  with  regard  to  these  commodities  will also  fall  within  the  purview  of  riba.  These  six  commodities  are  gold, silver,  wheat,  barley,  dates  and  grapes.

Under  the  same  principle,  the  Holy  Prophet  (sallallaahu  alayhi  wasallam),  after  the  revelation  of  the  verses  of  riba,  ruled  that  some  forms  of  transactions  in  vogue  known  as  al-Muzabanah (i.e. is  the  sale  of  fruit  upon  its  tree  by  taking  fruit  already  plucked  on  the  basis  of  conjecture)  and  al-Muhaqalah  (i.e. is  the  sale  of  grains,  such  as  wheat,  chick-peas  etc,  still  in  the  ears  of  their  standing  crop  by  taking  dried  and  husked  wheat  or chick-peas  on  the  basis  of  conjecture.  Since  conjecture  has  the  possibility  of  things  turning  out  less  or  more,  it  was  prohibited) come  under  riba, and  therefore,  declared  them  to  be  haraam.  (Ibn  Kathir  with  reference  to  Mustadrak  Hakim,  page  327,  Volume  1).

Here  the  question  worth  consideration  was:  Are  these  six  commodities  particular  as  such,  or  there  are  other  commodities  also  which  fall  under  the  same  injunction?  If  there  are  some,  what  shall  be the  the  basis  for  including  other  commodities  under  the  same  rule?  What  forms  shall  be  taken  to  have  come  under  riba?  This  was  the  difficulty  faced  by  Sayyidna  ‘Umar  (radhiyallahu  anhu)  because  of  which  he  said: 

The  verse  of  riba  is  among  the  last  verses  of  the  Qur’an.  The Holy  Prophet  (sallallaahu  alayhi  wasallam)  was  taken  away  before  he  could  make  its details  clear  for  us.  So  give  up  not  only  riba  but  also  all  the doubtful  transactions.  (Ahkam  al-Qur’an,  Jassas,  page  551  and  Taf’sir Ibn Kathir, with  reference  to  Ibn  Majah,  page  328,  volume  1).

Here  Sayyidna  ‘Umar  (radhiyallahu  anhu)  is  talking  about  the  particular  forms  of  buying  and  selling  transactions,  and  their  details,  which  were not  taken  as  riba  in  Jahiliyyah.  Bringing  these  under  the  category  of  riba,  the  Holy  Prophet  (sallallaahu  alayhi  wasallam)  made  them  Haraam.  As  regards  the  main  riba, which  was  commonly  known  in  Arabia  and  which  was  abandoned  by  the  noble  Companions  and  was  enforced  by  the  Holy  Prophet  (sallallaahu  alayhi  wasallam)  announcing  its  prohibition  publicly  during  his  Address  of  the  Last Hajj,  it  was  not  possible  at  all  that  Sayyidina  ‘Umar  (radhiyallahu  anhu)  would  have  faced  any  difficulty  or  doubt  in  understanding  it.  Moreover,  when Sayyidna  ‘Umar  (radhiyallahu  anhu)  did  face  doubt  in  certain  forms  of  riba,  he  resolved  the  problem  by  proposing  that  the  forms  where  there  is  the  least  doubt  of  riba  should  also  be  abandoned. 

But  it  is  surprising  that  some  of  those  who  are  slavishly  impressed  by  the  veneer  of  glamour,  wealth  and  the  interest-based  trading  system  of  today,  have  deduced  from  this  saying  of  Sayyidina  ‘Umar that  the  sense  of  riba  had  thus  been  left  abstract  and  that  there  is  room  for  personal  opinion  here,  the  error  of  which  has  already  been  proved  by  a  lot  of  material  before  us.  In  Ahkam  al-Qur’an,  Ibn al-‘Arabi has  strongly  refuted  those  who  had  used  the  words  of Sayyidina  ‘Umar  to  classify  the  verses  of  riba  as  abstract.  He  says:

He  who  claimed  that  this  verse  is  abstract  did  not  understand the  clear  and  confident  affirmation  of  the  Shari’ah because  Allah  Almighty  sent  His  messenger  to  a  people  of  whom  he  was  one,  sent  him  (speaking)  in  their  language,  revealed  His Book  to  him  so  that  they  comprehend  it  easily  in  their  language,  and  in their  language  the  word  riba  means ‘increase’;  and  in  the  verse,  it  means  the  increase  that  has  no financial  consideration  against  it,  (but  simply  time).

Imam al-Razi  has  said  in  his  commentary that  riba  is  of  two  kinds  – the  riba  on  loans  and  the  riba  of  taking  more  on  barter.  The  first  kind  was  well-known  in  Jahiliyyah  and  people  during  those  days  used  to transact  it  freely.  The  second  kind  is  what  comes  through  the  hadith  which  rules  that  increase  or  decrease  in  the  barter  of  certain  commodities  is  also  included  under  riba.

It  appears  in  Ahkam  al-Qur’an  of  al-Jassas  that  riba  is  of  two  kinds – the  riba  in  buying  and  selling  and  the  riba  without  buying  and  selling.  The  riba  of  Jahiliyyah  belonged  to  this  very  second  kind.  By  definition  it  means  the  loan  on  which  ‘profit’  is  taken  on  the  basis  of time  duration.  Ibn  Rushd  has,  in  Bidayah  al-Mujtahid, taken  the  same  view,  and  has  further  proved  the  unlawfulless  of  the  riba  of  taking  profit’  on  loans,  on  the  authority  of  the  Qur’an,  the  Sunnah  and  the consensus  of  the  Muslim  community.

In  Sharh  Ma’ani  al-Athar,  Imam  al-Tahawi  has  taken  up  this subject  in  great  detail.  He  has  said  that  the  riba  mentioned  in  the  Qur’an  is,  openly  and  clearly,  the  riba  that  was  given  and  taken  on  loans,  and  it  was  known  as  riba  in  Jahiliyyah.  After  that,  it  was through  the  statement  of  the  Holy  Prophet  (sallallaahu  alayhi  wasallam),  and  his  Sunnah,  that the  other  kind  of  riba  became  known,  and  which  was  identified  with  increasing,  decreasing  or  non-cash  dealing  in  particular  types  of  buying  and  selling  activity.  That  this  riba  is  also  haraam  stands  proved  by  repeated  ahadith  of  the  Holy  Prophet  (sallallaahu  alayhi  wasallam).  However,  in  the  absence  of  fully  clear  details  governing  this  kind  of  riba  some  Companions  of  the  Holy  Prophet  (sallallaahu  alayhi  wasallam)  faced  difficulty  and jurists  differed.  (op cit.,  page  232.)

Shah Waliullah has  said  in Hujjatullah  al-balighah  that  these  are  two  separate  things.  One  is  the  riba  in  real  terms,  and  the  other  is  that which  is  included  in  the  prohibition  of  riba.  The  riba  in  real  terms means  something  additional  claimed  over  the  principal  in  a transaction  of  loan.  But  the  hadith  has  included  in the  prohibition  a  transaction  of  bartering  certain  commodities  whereby  an  additional measure  is  claimed  in  exchange  of  the  same  commodity.  When  it appears  in  the  hadith  of  Sahih  al-Bukhari  that: “There  is  no  riba  except  in  nasi’ah  {loan}”, it  simply  means  that  the  real  and primary  riba,  the  one  that  is  commonly  understood  and  termed  as  riba, is  nothing  but  taking  ‘profit’  on  loans.  Excepting  this,  all  other  kinds have  been annexed  with  it  by  extending  prohibition  to  all  of  them.

Summing  up  the  discussion

1.  Riba  was  already  a  known  transaction  before  the  revelation  of  the  Qur’an.  The  taking  of  increase  on  loans  given  for  a  certain  time was  called  riba.

2.  The  noble  Companions,  all  of  them,  abandoned  this  riba  the  moment  its  unlawfulness  was  revealed  in  the  Qur’an.  None  of  them  had  any  difficulty  or  doubt  in  comprehending  or  explaining  its meaning.

3.  In  the  barter  transactions  of  six  commodities  it  was  declared  by the  Holy  Prophet  (sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  that  whenever  any  one  of  these  is  bartered  with  a  similar  commodity,  both  of  them  must  be  equal  in  weight  or  measure. Any  increase  or  decrease  in  such  transations  has  been  declared  as  included  in  the  prohibition  of  riba.  This  much  was  expressly  told  by  the Holy  Prophet (sallallaahu  alayhi  wasallam).  But  the  question  was  whether  this  special  type  of  prohibition  is  restricted  to  these  six  commodities  alone  or  it  extends  to  some  other  commodities  also,  and  if  it  extends  to  some  other commodities,  on  what  basis  one  can  identify  those  commodities.  This question  needed  a  deeper  insight  into  the  juristic  issues  involved,  and the  Muslim  jurists  came  out  with  different  suggestions  to  answer  this  question.  It  was  this  very  question  that  agitated  the  mind  of  Sayyidina ‘Umar  (radhiyallahu anhu).  Since  the  Holy  Prophet (sallallaahu  alayhi  wasallam)  had  not  stated  these  rules  himself  and  because  doubt  lurked  therein,  Sayyidina  ‘Umar  (radhiyallahu  anhu)  regretfully  wished  how  good  it  would  have  been  if  the  Messenger  of Allah (sallallaahu  alayhi  wasallam)  had  set  the  relevant  rules  himself  which  would  have  given them  peace  of  mind  in  doubtful  situations.  Then  he  said  that  not  only  riba,  but  also  the  very  doubt  of  riba, wherever  it  may  be,  should  be avoided.

4.  It  is  certain  that  the  real  and  primary  riba,  which  the  Muslim  jurists  have  called  “riba  al-Qur’an”  (the  riba  of  Qur’an)  or  “riba al-Qard” (the  riba  of  loan), is  exactly  what  was  known  and  practised  in  Arabia,  that  is,  claiming  ‘profit’  on  loan  against  the  time  allowed  for  repayment.  Other  kinds  of  riba  identified  in  hadith  are  all  annexed  to this  very  riba  and  come  under  the  injunction  governing  it.  As  regards the  difference  of  opinion  that  rose  in  the  community  was  exclusively  related  to  this  second  type  of  riba  deals.  The  first  kind  of  riba  is  called  ‘riba  al-Qard’  or  “the  riba  of  Qur’an”;  that  it  is  categorically  haraam  (forbidden)  has  never  been  disputed  in  the  Muslim  community.

In  short,  the  riba  of  today  which  is  supposed  to  be  the  pivot  of  human  economy  and  features  in  discussions  on  the  problem  of  interest,  is  nothing  but  this  riba,  the  unlawfulness  of  which  stands  proved  on  the  authority  of  the  seven  verses  of  the  Qur’an,  of  more  than forty  ahadith  and  of  the  consensus  of  the  Muslim  community.

The  second  kind  of  riba  which  occurs  in  buying  and  selling  is neither  common  in  practice,  nor  requires  any  discussion  here.

Upto  this  point,  effort  was  made  to  clarify  the  meaning  of  riba  as  contemplated  in  the  Qur’an  and  Sunnah,  which  is  the  first  step  towards  understanding  the  problem  of  interest.

The  Wisdom  behind  the  Prohibition  of  Riba

Now  comes  the  second  part  of  the  discussion  which  relates  to  the  wisdom  behind  the  prohibition  of  riba  and  to  the  spiritual  and  economic  harms  of  riba  transactions  because  of  which  Islam  has  declared  it  to  be  such  a  major  sin. 

First  of  all,  we  should  realize  that  there  is  nothing  in  the  entire creation  of  the  world  which  has  no  goodness  or  utility  at  all.  Even  in serpents,  scorpions,  wolves,  lions,  and  in  arsenic,  that  fatal  poison,  there  are  thousands  of  utilities  for  human  beings.  Is  there  anything  in  this  vastness  of  nature  which  could  really  be  called  bad?  Take  theft,  robbery,  villainy,  bribery  –  not  one  of  these  remains  without  this  or that  benefit.  But,  it  is  commonly  recognized  in  every  religion  and  community,  in  every  school  of  thought,  that  things  which  have  more benefits  and  less  harms  are  called  beneficial  and  useful.  Conversely, things  that  cause  more  harm  and  less  benefit  are  taken  to  be  harmful  and  useless.  Even  the  noble  Qur’an,  while  declaring  liquor  and gambling  to  be  haraam,  proclaimed  that  they  do  hold  some  benefits  for  people,  but  the  curse  of  sins  they  generate  is  far  greater  than  the benefits  they  yield.  Therefore,  these  cannot  be  called  good  or  useful;  on  the  contrary,  taking  these  to  be  acutely  harmful  and  destructive,  it  is necessary  that  they  be  avoided.
The  case  of  riba  is  not  different.  Here  the  consumer  of  riba  does  have  some  temporal  benefit  apparently  coming  to  him,  but  its  curse  in this  world  and  in  the  Hereafter  is  much  too  severe  as  compared  to  this benefit. 

An  intelligent  person  who  compares  things  in  terms  of  their  profit  and  loss,  harm  and  benefit  can  hardly  include  things  of  casual  benefit  with  an  everlasting  loss  in  the  list  of  useful  things.  Similarly,  no  sane  and  just  person  will  say  that  personal  and  individual  gain,  which  causes  loss  to  the  whole  community  or  group,  is  useful.  In  theft,  and  in  robbery,  the  gain  of  the  gangster  and  the  take  of  the  thief  is  all  too  obvious,  but  it  is  certainly  harmful  for  the  entire  community  since  it  ruins  its  peace  and  sense  of  security.  That  is  why  no  human  being  calls  theft  and  robbery  good. 

After  these  introductory  remarks,  let  us  look  at  the  problem  of  riba.  A  little  deliberation  will  show  that  its  spiritual  and  moral  loss  as  compared  to  the  casual  or  transitory  profit  earned  by  the riba-consumer  is  so  severe  that  it  virtually  takes  away  the  great  quality  of  being  ‘human’  from  him.  Again,  it  should  be  borne  in  mind  that  the  transitory  gain  that  comes  to  him  is  restricted  to  his  person only.  As  compared  to  this,  the  entire  community,  victimized  by economic  crisis,  suffers  great  loss.  But,  strange  are  the  affairs of  the world.  When  something  becomes  the  craze  of  the  time,  its  drawbacks go  out  of  sight.  One  looks  for  nothing  but  gains  –  no  matter  how  small,  mean  and  casual  be  those  gains.  Nobody  cares  to  look  at  the  harm lying  under  them  –  no  matter  how  fatal  and  universal  it  may  be.

Custom  and  practice  act  like  chloroform  on  human  temperaments. They  make  them  insensitive,  There  are  very  few  individuals  who  would  investigate  into  prevailing  customs  and  practices  and  then  try  to  understand  how  beneficial  or  harmful  they  are.  Bad  coming  to  worse,  even  if  such  harms  are  identified  and  people  are  openly  warned of  the  dangers,  the  conformity  to  prevailing  custom  and  practice  is  such  that  the  right  course  is just  not  taken.

Riba  has  become  an  epidemic  in  modern  times  holding  the  entire  world  squeezed  in  its  clutches.  In  fact,  it  has  so  reversed  the  very  taste  of  human  nature  that  the  bitter  has  started  tasting  sweet.  That  which  is  the  cause  of  economic  ruin  for  the  entire  humanity  is  being  dished  out  as  the  solution  of  economic  ills.  The  situation  is  such  that  a  thinker  who  raises  his  voice  in  protest  is  brushed   aside  as  crazy.  All  this  is  what  it  is.  But  a  physician  of  humanity  must  remain  the physician  he  is.  Should  he,  after  having  closely  observed  that  epidemic  has  spread  in  an  area  and  treatment  has  become  ineffective,  start  thinking  of  telling  people  that  there  is  just  no  disease  around  and everything  is  fine,  he  then  becomes  a  killer  of  humanity  robbing  it  of  its  potential.  It  is  the  duty  of  a  really  expert  physician  of  human  affairs,  even  at  a  time  such  as  this,  that  he  should  continue  telling people  about  the  disease  and  its  harmful  effects  and  keep  suggesting  ways  it  could  be  cured.

The  prophets (alayhimussalaam)  come  to  reform  human  society.  Whether  or  not  they  will  be  heard  is  something  they  never  worry  about.  If  they  had  waited  for  people  to  hear  and  obey  them,  kufr  and  shirk  would  have  certainly  filled  the  whole  world.  Incidentally,  who  believed  in  the Kalimah  La Ilaha Il Allah “There  is  no  God  but  Allah”  when  the  Last  of  the  Prophets  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  was  ordained  by  Allah  for  its  preaching  and  teaching?

Although  riba  is  taken  to  be  the  backbone  of  contemporary economy,  but  the  truth  of  the  matter  is,  what  some  Western  thinkers  have  themselves  admitted,  that  it  is  no  backbone  of  economics,  rather on  the  contrary,  it  is  a  worm  grown  in  and  feeding  on  it. 

But  it  is  regrettable  that  even  theoreticians  and  scientists  of  today  are  unable  to  free  themselves  from  the  stranglehold  of  custom  and practice  and  do  some  serious  thinking  in  this  direction.  How  is  it  that  even  the  experience  of  hundreds  of  years  fails  to  attract  their  attention  towards  the  ultimate  outcome  of  riba  or  interest,  which  is  nothing except  that  peoples  and  communities  around  the  world  suffer  from  want  and  hunger,  become  victims  of  many  an  economic  crisis  and  the  poor  grow  poorer.  As  compared  to  their  fate,  some  capitalists  take advantage  of  the  wealth  of  the  whole  community,  become  its  leeches  sucking  blood  from  the  body  of  the  community  and  helping  themselves  to  grow  and  prosper.  The  gall  of  these  intellectuals  is  indeed  surprising.  When  this  reality  is presented  before  them,  they  would  like  to  refute  us  by  taking  us  to  the  market  places  of  U.S.A.  and  E.E.C.  so  that  we  could  observe  the  blessings  of  interest.  They  like  us  to  be impressed  by  the  prosperity  they  have  acquired  through  it.  In  fact,  this  is  like  taking  us  to  show  the  blessings  of  acts  committed  by  some  nation  of  man-eaters  and  telling  us  how  chubby  and  flushed  with  ‘health’  they  are  in  their  residences  and  work-places.  Then  to  top  that  assertion,  effort  is  made  to  prove  on  this  basis,  that  this  act  of  theirs  is the  best  of  acts.

However,  in  answer  to  that,  any  sane  and  just  person  would  simply  suggest  that  the  ‘blessings’  of  the  act  of  man-eaters  cannot  be  observed  in  the  habitat  of  the  man-eaters.  One  has  to  go  to  other  habitats  where  lie  dead  bodies  in  thousands  and  thousands  on  whose  blood  and  flesh these  beasts  have  grown.  Islam  and  the  Shari’ah  of  Islam  can  never accept  such  an  act  as  correct  and  useful,  as  a  result  of  which,  the  humanity  in  general  and  the  Muslim  community  in  particular  becomes  a  target  of  destruction  while  some  individuals,  or  their  groups,  go  on  prospering. 

Economic  Drawbacks  of  Riba  or  Interest

If  there  was  no  other  defect  in  rib6  except  that  it  results  in  the  gain of  some  individuals  and  the  loss  of  the  whole  humanity,  that  one  and very  defect  would  have  been  enough  to  justify  its  prohibition  and  hate-worthiness,  although,  it  does  have  many  other  economic  drawbacks  and  spiritual  disasters.

First  of  all,  let  us  understand  how  riba  is  the  gain  of  particular  individuals  and  the  loss  of  a  community  in  general.  The  hackneyed  method  of  riba  practised  by  usurers  was  so  crude  that  even  a  person  of ordinary  common-sense  could  see  how  it  benefitted  a  particular  person  and  harmed  the  community  in  general.  But  ‘the  new  enlightenment’  of today,  or  shall  we  call  it  ‘the  new  darkness’,  by  producing  ‘purified’ liquor  through  mechanical  processing  and  aging,  by  inventing  new  and fancy  forms  for  theft  and  robbery,  and  by  innovating  novel  covers  for evil  and  immodesty,  has  made  everybody  so  ‘civilized’  that  watchers  of  the  surface  are  unable  to  see  the  evil  hidden  behind.  Very  similar  to  this,  in  order  to  continue  the  practice  of  riba  or  interest,  individual money-lending  counters  have  been  replaced  by  joint  stock  companies  called  banks.  Now,  to  throw  dust  in  everybody’s  eyes,  consumers  are  ‘educated’  that  this  modern  method  of  riba  is  good  for  the  whole community  because  common  people  do  not  know  how  to  run  a  business  with  their  money,  or  cannot  do  so  due  to  shortage  of  capital,  so  money they  all  have  goes  as  deposit  in  banks  and  everyone  of  them  manages  to  get,  no  matter  how  little,  some  profit  in  the  name  of  interest.  In  addition  to  that,  big  businessmen  are  given  the  opportunity  to  borrow money  on  interest  from  banks,  invest  in  big  business  and  reap  the  benefits.  Thus  interest  has  been  made  to  appear  as  some  sort  of  ‘blessing’  which  is  reaching  all  individuals  of  the  community!

However,  a  little  honesty  will  show  that  this  is  a  grand  deception  which, by  transforming  dirty  distilleries  into  posh  hotels  and  hooker-dens  into  cinemas  and  night  clubs,  has  been  released  to present  poison  as  antidote,  and  the  harmful  as  beneficial.  Intelligent  people  have  no  problem  in  seeing  through  the  deceptive  covering  placed  on  anti-moral  crimes.  They  know  it  has  inevitably  increased  crimes,  spreading  its  poison  more  acutely  than  ever  before.  Similar  is  the  case  of  riba,  the  new  form  of  which,  by  making  the  masses  have  a  sip  of  an  insignificant  percentage  of  interest,  has  made  them accomplices  in  their  crime;  while  at  the  same  time,  they  opened  for  themselves  limitless  opportunities  to  keep  committing  this  crime.

Who  does  not  know  that  this  insignificant  percentage  of  interest  doled  out  by  ‘saving’  banks  and  post  offices  to  clients  cannot,  by  any means,  take  care  of  their  living  expenses.  They  are,  therefore,  forced  to  go  for  manual  labour  or  seek  a  job.  Business  is  something  they  hardly  think  of  themselves,  and  if  somebody  does  play  with  the  idea  for  a while,  the  problem  is  that  the  capital  of  the  entire  community  sits  in  the  banks  and  the  shape  of  things  in  business  is  such  that  a  person  with  a  small  capital  can  hardly  make  an  entry  there  unless  he  wishes to  commit  suicide.  The  reason  is  that  banks  can  advance  a  major  loan only  to  one  who  has  sound  credit  and  large  business.  One  who  has  a million  can  get  a  loan  of  ten  millions.  He  can  run  a  business  valued  ten  times  more  than  his  personal  capital  would  allow.  In  contrast,  the  man  with  a  small  capital  has  little  or  no  credit  rating;  the  banks  do  not  trust  him  enough  to  advance  a  loan  ten  times  more  than  his  worth. One  who  owns  a  thousand  can  hardly  get  an  even  thousand,  let  alone  ten  thousand.  Take  the  case  of  a  person  who  owns  a  hundred  thousand and  runs  a  business  worth  a  million  by  using  nine  hundred  thousand  of  bank  money.  Suppose  he  earns  a  profit  of  one  per  cent  which  means  he  has  earned  a  ten  per  cent  profit  on  his  hundred  thousand.  In  comparison,  a  person  who  uses  his  personal  hundred  thousand  in  business,  will  earn  a  profit  of  no  more  than  one  per  cent  on  his hundred  thousand,  which  would  be  hardly  enough  to  cover  even  his  operating  expenses.  Then  there  is  yet  another  factor;  the  man  with  a  large  capital  can  buy  raw  material  from  the  market  at  a  price  so  low and  discounted  which  the  small  capitalist  cannot  get.  As  a  result,  the  man  with  a  small  capital  is  rendered  helpless  and  needy.  Should  he,  secretly  pursued  by  his  misfortune,  put  his  foot  into  some  such business  already  monopolized  by  big  capitalists,  they  will  then,  taking  him  to  be  an  unwelcome  partner  in  their  godhood,  make  the  market collapse,  even  if  it  be  at  their  cost,  making  the  small  capitalist  lose  all  his  capital  and  profit.  This  is  why  business  gets  monoplized  by  some individuals  who  happen  to  be  big  capitalists.

Let  us  consider  some  other  injuries  caused  by  this  interest-oriented  economic  system:

1.  First  comes  the  great  injustice  inflicted  on  the  community  when  a  whole  set  of  people  are  deprived  of  the  opportunity  to  engage  in  real business,  and  are  reduced  to  economic  slavery  of  big  capitalists,  who  elect  to  give  them  a  ‘profit’  of  their  choice  as  some  tip.

2.  Another  loss  that  affects  the  whole  country  comes  through  the  monopolization  of  market  rates  of  commodities  made  possible  by  this  system.  They  sell  high  and  fill  their  coffers  by  emptying  the  pockets  of  the  whole  community.  Worse  still,  they  have  the  evil  choice  of  stopping  the  sale  of  their  holdings  in  order  to  further  increase  prices  by  design.  If  these  selfish  people  were  not  allowed  to  feed  on  the  combined  capital of  the  community  through  the  agency  of  banks,  and  if  they  were  left
with  no  other  alternative  but  to  run  their  business  with  their  personal  capital,  things  would  be  different.  The  small  capitalist  would  have  been  saved  from  distress  and  these  self-serving  people  would  not  be  sitting  as  demi-gods  on  all  trading  options.  The  investors  with  a  small  capital,  by  showing  profits  in  business  ventures,  would  have  given impetus  to  others.  More  and  more  businesses  would  come  up  managed  by  separate  staffers  giving  livelihood  to  thousands  of  needy  individuals besides  making  business  profits  fairly  widespread,  and  of  course,  the  general  availability  of  merchandise  in  the  market  would  be  favourably  affected.  The  reason  is  competition  which  motivates  a  businessman  to  reduce  his  margin  of  profit.

In  short,  this  Machiavellian  method  has  infected  nations  and  communities  with  a  fatal  disease,  apart  from  the  brain-washing  it  has  done  which  makes  the  patient  take  disease  as the  cure.

3.  Now  let  us  look  at  the  third  economic  disaster  engineered through  bank  interests.  Here  is  a  person  with  a  capital  of  ten thousand  and  he  goes  in  business  worth  a  hundred  thousand,  the  additional  capital  advanced  by  a  bank  as  interest-bearing  loan.  If  by chance,  he  is  hit  by  loss,  his  capital  sinks  and  he  goes  insolvent  then  the  outcome  is  interesting.  Just  imagine  that  he  bears  only  ten  per cent  of  the  loss,  while  the  rest  of  the  loss,  that  is  ninety  per  cent,  is absorbed  by  the  whole  community,  whose  money  he  had  borrowed  from  the  bank  to  invest  in  his  business.  Even  if  the  bank  writes  off  the  loss  as  an  interim  measure,  it  is  clear  that  the  bank  is  the  pocket  of  a  nation,  and  the  loss  will  ultimately  hit  the  nation.  The  outcome  is  that  the  borrowing  capitalist  was  the  sole  owner  of  the  profit  as  far  as  the profit  kept  coming,  leaving  nothing  or  very  little  for  the  community. When  came  the  loss,  it  was  passed  on  to  the  whole  community.

4.  Yet  another  economic  drawback  of  riba  lies  in  the  predicament  of  the  borrower  on  interest  when  he  is  hit  by  a  major  loss.  Once  this  happens  he  is  unable  to  survive  anymore.  To  begin  with,  he  never  had  enough  capital  the  loss  of  which  he  could  cushion.  The  loss  throws  him  into  a  double  distress.  Not  only  does  he  lose  his  profit  and  capital  but  also,  at the  same  time,  gets  buried  under  the  bank  loan  for  the  liquidation  of  which  he  has  no  means.  As  compared  to  this,  should  he  lose  his  entire  capital  in  an  interest-free  business,  he  would,  at  the  most  become  penniless  but,  burdened  with  debt  he  definitely  will  not  be.

In  1954,  the  cotton  business  of  Pakistan  suffered,  to  use  a  word  of  the  Qur’an,  with  the  calamity  of  muhaq  (i.e. destruction  by  loss).  The Government  rescued  the  businessmen  at  the  cost  of  millions  of  rupees  but  nobody  bothered  to  realize  that  all  this  was  a  curse  of  riba  or interest,  for  the  simple  reason  that  cotton  dealers  had  invested  mostly  bank-borrowed  capital  in  this  business.  Their  own  capital  was  insignificant.  As  Divine  decree  would  have  it,  the  cotton  market  fell  so sharply  that  its  price  zoomed  down  from  rupees  one  hundred  and  twenty-five  to  just  ten  rupees.  The  cotton  traders  were  rendered  incapable  of  returning  money  to  cover  bank  margins.  Left  with  no choice,  the  market  was  closed  down  and  an  SOS  was  sent  to  the Government.  The  Government  stepped  in  and  bought  off  the  stocks,  not  at  rupees  ten,  but  at  the  raised  price  of  ninety  rupees.  Thus  it  took upon  itself  the  loss  of  millions  and  saved  these  traders  from  going insolvent.  Whose  money  did  the  Government  have?  Naturally,  it  belonged  to  the  same  helpless  poor  nation,  the  Muslim  ummah!

In  short,  the  naked  result  of  banking  business  is  that  some individuals  reap  benefits  out  of  the  capital  of  the  entire  community  and  the  loss,  when  it  comes,  is  made  to  fall  on  the  whole  nation.

The  design for  deception

You  have  already  seen  how  riba  and  interest  prey  on  communities  and  nations  and  how  some  individuals  are  promoted  instead.  Along with  it,  you  would  do  well  to  discover  yet  another  demonstration  of  evil genius.  When  the  consumers  of  riba  realized,  out  of  their  own experience  as  well,  what  the  Qur’an  has  said  that  is,  earnings  of  interest  have  to  suffer  from  the  calamity  of  muhaq,  from  loss  and  destruction,  as  a  result  of  which  one  has  to  go  insolvent  –  they  established  two  permanent  institutions:  The  Insurance  and  the  Stock Exchange.  They  saw  that  losses  in  business  occur  for  two  reasons.  One  of  these  takes  the  form  of  natural  calamity  like  the  drowning  or burning  of  a  ship  or  some  such  mishap  of  some  other  nature.  The  other  could  be  that  market  rates  of  stock  in  hand  go  lower  than  its  purchase  price.  The  capital  invested  in  both  these  situations  is  the  jointly  owned capital  of  the  community,  not  that  of  the  individual  capitalist, therefore,  the  loss  of  the  community  is  higher,  and  that  of  the  individual  capitalist,  minimal.  But  they  did  not  stop  at  that.  In  order  to  shift  even  this  minimal  loss  factor  on  to  the  shoulders  of  the community,  they  floated  insurance  companies  which  hold  the  capital  of  the  community,  just  as  banks  do.  When  some  natural  calamity  inflicts losses  on  these  consumers  of  riba  they  use  the  medium  of  insurance  to  shift,  not  just  partial,  but  the  entire  loss  to  the  jointly  held  capital  of  the  community.

People  think  that  insurance  companies  are  God’s  mercy  as  they rescue  the  sinking.  But  should  they  observe  and  think  honestly,  they  would  start  seeing  the  same  deception  here  too.  Isn’t  it  that  their  capital  was  formed  by  contributions  from  the  community  enticed  by  the  promise  of  help  in  the  event  of  unforeseen  accidents.  The  truth  is  that  the  advantage  of  receiving  large  sums  of  money  is  derived  by  capitalist,  of  higher  rating,  who  would,  on  occasions,  burn  or  bang  their  own  car  or  get  it  stolen  in  order  to  buy  a  new  one  out  of  the  insurance  claim.  At  the  probability  rate  of  one  or  two  percent  there  would  be  a  couple  of  lucky  fellows  who  might  get  some  money  because of  accidental  death. 

Then  there  is  the  second  kind  of  institution,  the  stock  exchange  which  served  as  a  defensive  shield  against  price  slumps.  This  speculative  contraption  was  used  to  spread  out  the  ill-effects  of  deals  over  every  individual  of  the  community,  transferring  thereby  the  loss  coming  to  them  onto  the  community  once  again. 

This  brief  account,  it  is  hoped,  may  have  given  you  at  least  the  idea  that  bank  interest  and  the  business  it  helps  to  flourish  is  the  cause  of  want,  hunger  and  economic  incapacity  of  the  entire  humanity.  Of  course,  some  wealthy  individuals  have  their  wealth  further  increased through  this  method  which  results  in  the  unmaking  of  the  community  and  the  making  of  some  individuals  who  hold  the  key  to  the  accumulated  capital  of  the  country  or   nation  in  their  hands.  Generally governments  did  notice  this  enormously  disturbing  phenomena  but  the  cure  they  came  up  with  was  to  increase  the  income  tax  rate  for  big capitalists,  so  much  so  that  the  maximum  rate  was  set  almost  close  to  hundred  per  cent,  which  was  all  designed  to  funnel  capital  from  them back  into  the  national  treasury.

But,  as  a  result  of  such  laws  and  as  everyone  knows,  factories  and  businesses  started  maintaining  fictional  or  doctored  accounts.  In  order  to  hide  a  lot  of  capital  from  the  Government,  money  once  again  started  going  into  private  treasuries. 

To  sum  up,  it  is  universally  clear  that  concentration  of  wealth  in  the  captivating  hands  of  few  individuals  of  a  nation  is  highly  injurious  to  the  economic health  of  the  country.  This  is  why  income  tax  rates  are  pushed  so  high,  but  experience  bears  out  that  this  was  no  cure  to  the disease.  Maybe  the  reason  is  that  the  disease  was  not  correctly  diagnosed,  and  the  real  cause  remained  undiscovered.  This  sort  of treatment  reminds  one  of  the  Persian  line  saying:  ‘you  closed  the  door  for  safety  without  finding  out  that  the  enemy  was  sitting  inside  the house’.

The  reason  why  wealth  concentrates  in  the  hands  of  big  capitalists  is  nothing  but  interest-oriented  business  and  the  unjust  profiteering  from  national  wealth  by  particular  individuals.  Unless  we  put  an  end  to  this  in  accordance  with  the  teachings  of  Islam  and  unless  we  promote  the  practice  that  everyone  goes  in  business  with  ‘his’  capital  only,  this  disease  cannot  be  cured. 

A  doubt  and its  answer

The  question  arises  here  when  public  money  is  deposited  in  banks  some  benefit  does  trickle  on  to  people,  no  matter  how  little  it  may  be. Maybe,  the  big  capitalists  did  manage  to  extract  more  benefits  out  of it.  But  what  would  happen  if  this  system  of  depositing  money  in  the  banks  was  not  there?  The  whole  thing  will  end  up  being  what  it  was  in old  days  when  money  used  to  stay  in  underground  chests,  which  was  of  no  immediate  use  to  the  owner,  or  to  anybody  else. 

The  answer  to  this  is  that  Islam  has,  on  one  hand,  by  declaring  interest  or  –iba  to  be  haraam  (unlawful),  closed  the  door  on  the  concentration  of  national  wealth  in  the  hands  of  a  known  few  capitalists,  while  at  the  same  time,  it  has,  by  imposing  the  obligation  of  the  levy  of  zakah,  compelled  every  owner  of  the  above-threshold  capital  not  to  keep his  capital  frozen  but  invest  it  in  business.  Should  a  person  hoard  up  his  money  or  gold,  and  since  zakah  is  a  recurring  obligation  to  pay,  he will  still  be  giving  out  the  fortieth  part  of  his  holdings  as  zakah  every year,  as  a  result  of  which  whatever  he  has  will  not  be  there  anymore.  Therefore,  every  sane  person  will  have  to  put  his  capital  in  some  useful  enterprise,  enjoy  its  benefits  and  allow  others  to  share  it  with  him  and  then,  from  the  profit  that  he  makes,  he  pays  his  zakah  ‘properly’  as  required.

The  obligation of  zakah  ensures progress  in  business

We  know  that  paying  zakah  properly  has  a  great  utility  of  its  own.  It  aims  to  help  the  poor  and  the  needy  in  the  community.  Similarly, this  obligation  is  a  wonderful  method  of  persuading  people  to  go  in  business,  so  that  the  economic  status  of  Muslims  is  upgraded.  It  is  clear  when  everybody  realizes  that  frozen  capital  gets  no  profit,  on  the contrary,  the  fortieth  part  is  invariably  chiselled  away  at  the  end  of  each  year,  he  will  have  to  think  of  investing  his  money  in  some  business.  But  his  business  will  not  follow  the  model  of  one  man  running  a  business  on  the  strength  of  capital  supplied  by  millions  of people.  That  model  works  on  interest.  Since  marketing  money  is  haraam,  every  wealthy  person  will  seek  to  go  in  business  on  his  own.  And  when  it  so  happens  that  big  capitalists  are  left  with  no  choice  but  to  engage  in  business  supported  by  their  personal  capital,  those  with  a small  capital  will  not  face  the  sort  of  difficulties  in  business  take-offs  that  confronted  them  in  the  event  they  sought  bank  loans  on  interest  to  run  a  larger  business.  Thus  the  whole  country  will  benefit  by  the  universalization  of  business  and  its  profits.  When  this  happens,  the  poor  and  the  needy  in  the  country  would  certainly  become  beneficiaries  of  the  system.

Interest:  The  spiritual  ills:

Upto  this  point  we  were  talking  about  the  economic  destructivity  of  interest.  Now  let  us  see  how  interest-oriented  business  so  adversely affects  the  morals,  and  the  spiritual  potential  of  man:

1.  Sacrifice  and  generosity  are  great  qualities  in  human  morals. Giving  comfort  to  others  at  the  cost  of  personal  discomfort  is  wonderful.  Interest-loaded  business  invariably  leads  to  the  extinction  of  this  emotional  refinement.  A  compulsive  consumer  of  interest  would hardly  bear  to  see  somebody  else  rising  up  to  his  level  with  the  help  of  personal  effort  and  capital.  That  he  would  think  of  passing  some  benefit  to  somebody  from  his  resources  is  a  far  cry.

2.  Rather  than  be  merciful  to  the  distressed,  he  is  on  the  look  out  for  an  opportunity  to  take  undue  advantage  of  his  distress.

3.  The  constant  devouring  of  interest  results  in  increasing  greed  for  money  to  limits  where  he  is  all  intoxicated,  not  knowing  good  from  bad –  totally  heedless  of  the  sad  end  of  what  he  is  doing.

Is  it  impossible  to  run  a  business  without  interest?

A  discussion  of  the  nature  of  riba  and  the  ills  it  plants  and promotes  in  this  world  and  in  the  Hereafter  has  already  appeared  in some  details.  Now  remains  the  third  part  relating  to  the  solution  of  the  problem.  We  have  seen  its  economic  and  spiritual  drawbacks  and  we  know  clearly  that  it  has  been  strictly  forbidden  in  the  Qur’an  and Sunnah.  But  the  problem  is  that  riba,  of  all  the  things,  is  sitting  solid  as  the  sheet-anchor  of  business  in  contemporary  society.  This  is  the  wheel  on  which  runs  world  business.  How  can  we  get  free  from  its  hold?  These  are  times  when  getting  rid  of  the  banking  system  would  mean  closing  down  all  business.

This  can  be  answered  by  pointing  out  that  a  disease,  once  it  spreads  out  and  becomes  an  epidemic,  certainly  poses  problems. Treatment  does  become  difficult  but  useless  it  is  not.  Efforts  made  to  correct  the  system  do  succeed  finally.  However,  what  is  needed  in  the  process  is  patience,  steadfastness  and  courage.  It  is  in  the  noble Qur’an  itself  that  Allah  Almighty  has  also  said:

Allah  has  not  burdened  you  with  any  hardship  in  religion.   (22:78)

Therefore,  there  must  be  a  way  to  avoid  riba  in  which  there  is  no  economic  loss,  doors  of  national  and  international  business  are  not  closed,  and  salvation  from  riba  is  also  achieved. 

To  begin  with,  it  is  generally  thought  that,  given  the  governing  principles  of  banking  as  seen  from  the  outside,  banking  system depends  on  riba.  Without  it  the  banks  just  could  not  run.  But,  this thinking  is  categorically  incorrect.  The  banking  system  could  still  survive  as  it  is  even  without  riba.  It  could  rather  come  out  in  better  shape,  beneficial  and  useful.  However,  in  order  to  do  so,  it  is  necessary that  a  group  of  experts  in  Shari’ah  and  banking  should,  by  consultation  and  co-operation,  reconstruct  its  operating  principles.  With  their  proposals  and  projections,  success  will  not  remain  far. When  the  day  comes,  the  day  when  the  banking  system  is  run  on  the principle  of  Shari’ah, the  whole  world  will,  Inshallah,  witness  the  real  summum  bonum,  the  great  good  of  the  nation  and  the  community  it brings  in  its  wake.  However,  this  is  not  the  place  to  explain  these  principles  and  rules  based  on  which  the  banking  system  could  be  run without  riba.  

Riba  is  presently  ‘needed’  for  two  reasons.  If  needed  in  business,  that  can  be  taken  care  of  by  amending  the  current  banking  rules.  The second  compulsion,  why  the  poor  and  the  needy  get  involved  with  riba  or  interest,  is  that  of  their  inevitable  accidental  needs.  The  best solution  to  this  situation  is  already  present  in  Islam  in  the  form  of  zakah  and  obligatory  sadaqat.  But,  because  of  heedlessness  towards  religion  and  the  sources  of  its  knowledge,  even  the  system  of  zakah  has  been  left  inoperative  (or  ineffective).  There  is  a  countless  number  of  Muslims  who  do  not  think  of  zakah,  and  for  that  matter,  even  salah.  Those  who  do  pay  zakah,  specially  the  gentlemen  with  large  capital  holdings,  do  not  bother  to  calculate  strictly  and  thus  do  not  pay  the full  zakah  amount  due.  Then  there  are  those  who  do  pay  the  full amount  of  zakah  due,  but  their  doing  so  is  mechanical,  sort  of  getting  rid  of  it  by  taking  it  out  of  their  pockets  and  be  done  with.  Although  the  Divine  injunction,  does  not  simply  call  for  the  taking  out  of  zakah,  it  rather  bids  that  zakah  be  paid  properly  and  paying  properly  can  be  accomplished  correctly  only  when  it  is  carried  to  those  who  deserve  it and  who  are  given  proprietory  rights  over  it.  Now  let  us  imagine  how  many  Muslims  there  are  who  would  take  the  trouble  of  finding  the  deserving  and  then  arrange  to  have  their  zakah  reach  them?  No  matter  how  lacking  in  financial  resources  the  Muslim  ummah  may  be, but  should  it  be  that  every  zakah-obligated  Muslim  pays  his  zakah  fully  and  properly,  and  adopts  the  correct  method  of  so  paying  it  by  identifying  the  deserving  and  making  sure  that  they  receive  it  in  their hands  and  as  their  possession,  then  no  Muslim  will  ever  need  to  get  involved  with  interest-bearing  borrowing.  Of  course,  when  it  so  happens  that  a  just  Islamic  government  comes  into  being  and  operates  in  accordance  with  rules  laid  down  by  the  Shari’ah,  and  an  Islamic  Baytul-Mal  is  established  under  its  aegis,  and  in  which  is  deposited  the  zakah  of  amwal  zahirah  of  all  Muslims,  then  this  Baytul-Mal  can  take  care  of  the  need  of  everyone  needy.  Should  a  situation  call  for  a  larger  loan,  this  can  be  given  without  interest.  Similarly,  the unemployed  can  be  inducted  into  the  work  force  by  arranging  to  have  them  run  small  shops  and  stores  or  by  engaging  them  into  a  unit  of industry.  True  was  the  remark  made  by  some  European  expert  who  said  that  Muslims,  if  they  strictly  followed  the  system  of  zakah  they  have,  will  soon  find  that  there  is  nobody  poor  and  distressed  in  their community.

In  short,  just  because  practices  of  interest  have  spread  out  these  days  like  some  epidemic,  it  is  incorrect  to  take  for  granted  that  abandonment  of  interest-based  business  would  amount  to  economic  suicide,  and  therefore,  modern  man  is  helpless  when  involved  with interest-based  dealings  in  business. 

This  much  is,  however,  conceded  that  such  an  abandonment  is surely  difficult  for  one  or  many  individuals  unless  a  whole  nation,  or  a determined  major  party,  or  an  Islamic  government  itself  resolves  to  accomplish  this  objective  with  full  and  consistent  attention.  But  this phenomena  cannot  be  taken  as  an  excuse  for  justifying  riba  in principle.

What  has been  said  here  has  two  aims:

1.  Muslim  groups  and  governments  who  can  accomplish  this  task  correctly  should  focus  their  attention  in  this  direction  to  free  Muslims, rather  the  whole  world,  from  the  accursed  effects  of  interest.

2.  At  least,  all  of  us  should  start  knowing  what  is  right  and  correct  in  this  respect.  The  disease  should  be  recognized  as  a  disease.  Taking or  giving  interest  is  a  sin  but  taking  the  haraam  to  be  halaal  is  a  much greater  sin.  At  the  least,  this  could  be  avoided.  The  practical  sin  does  have  some  sort  of  outward  benefit  but  this  second  sin  against knowledge  and  belief,  that  effort  be  made  to  prove  interest  as  halaal, is  greater  than  the  first  one.  It  is  absurd  and  wasteful  as  well  because there  is  hardly  any  financial  loss  in  regarding  interest  as  haraam  and  confessing  any  involvement  with  it  as  sin.  Doing  so  will  close  no business  down.  But  the  confession  of  a  crime  does  become  fruitful when  one  gets  the  tawfiq  (God-given  ability)  to  repent  at  some  time  when  one  could  think  of  ways  to  avoid  it.

In  the  end,  I  present  some  ahadith  of  the  Holy  Prophet  (sallallaahu  alayhi  wasallam)  to further  strengthen  the  statement  of  above-mentioned  aims.  These  re-assert  the  same  Qur’anic  verses  where  riba  has  been  strongly  prohibited  and  where  warnings  of  severe  punishment  have  been  given  to  those  involved  in  it.  The  purpose  is  to  bring  about,  at  least,  a  sense  of  awakening  –  the  realization  that  a  sin  is  a  sin,  and  the  concern  that something  should  be  done  to  abstain  from  it.  Perhaps,  the  minimum  change  that  can  come  out  of  this  is  not  to  make  two  sins  out  of  one  by treating  the  haraam  as  halaal.  Thus  we  shall  be  saved  from  seeing  even  highly  righteous  and  observing  Muslims  who  would  spend  nights  in tahajjud  (pre-dawn  nafl  salah)  and  dhikr  of  Allah  (remembrance  of Allah),  yet  when  they  reach  their  store  or  factory  in  the  morning,  they  would  not  even  think  that,  by  indulging  in  dealings  of  interest  and gambling,  they  are  committing  some  sin!

Sayings  Of  The  Holy  Prophet  (sallallaahu  alayhi  wasallam)  About  Riba  or  Interest:

“Abstain  from  the  seven  disasters.”  The  people  asked  him: “What  are  they,  O  Messenger  of  Allah?”  He  replied:  “To  ascribe  partners  to  Allah,  to  practice  sorcery,  to  unjustly  kill  one  whom  Allah  has  declared  inviolable,  to  take  riba  (interest  or  usury),  to  exploit  the  property  of  an  orphan,  to  escape  at  the  time  of  war  and  to  slander  the  chaste  women  who  are  believers,  unwary.” (Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawud & Nasa’i)

This  night  I  saw  two  men  who  came  to  me  and  brought  me  to  a  sacred  land.  We  walked  until  we  reached  a  river  of  blood,  wherein  a  man  was  standing,  and  another  man  was  standing  on  the  bank  of  the  river  with  some  stones  before  him.  Then  the  man  who  was  standing  in  the  river  came  forward,  and  when  he  intended  to  come  out  of  the  river,  the  other  man  threw  a  stone  at  his  mouth,  and  turned  him  back  to  the  place  where  he  was  earlier  –  thus  he  began  to  do  the  same  with  him whenever  he  tried  to  come  out  of  the  river  by  throwing  a  stone  at  him  and  turning  him  back.  I  asked  him,  “What  is  that  which  I  have  just  seen  going  on?”  He  replied,  “He  is  the  one who  used  to  take  riba  (interest or  usury).   (Bukhari)

The  Messenger  of  Allah  cursed  the  one  who  accepts  riba (interest  or  usury), the  one  who  pays  it,  the  one  who  writes  it and  the  persons  who  gives  witness  to  it,  and  said,  “They  are  all  alike.” (Muslim) 

There  are  four  kinds  of  people  about  whom  Allah  has  decided not  to  admit  them  to  Paradise  and  not  to  let  them  taste  its bliss:  The  one  who  is  addicted  to  wine,  the  one  who  takes  the  riba,  the  one  who  exploits  the  property  of  an  orphan  and  the man  who  is  disobedient  to  his  parents. (Tirmidhi)

A  dirham  a  man  receives  as  riba  (interest  or  usury)  is,  in  the sight  of  Allah,  more  serious  than  thirty  three  acts  of  fornication  or  adultery  in  Islam. (Tabarani)

The  Holy  Prophet  (sallallaahu  alayhi  wasallam)  has  forbidden  the  fruits  to  be  sold  or  pur- chased  before  they  are  eatable,  and  said,  “When  zina (adultery) and  riba  (usury  or  interest)  become  rampant  in  the people  of  a  town  they  themselves  invite  the  punishment  of  Allah.   (Tirmidhi)

The  society  in  which  riba  becomes  rampant  is  punished  with  famine,  and  the  society  where  bribe  is  rampant  is  punished with  horror  (of  others).  (Ahmad)

On  the  night  (of  Ascension:  Mi’raj)  when  we  reached  the  seventh  sky,  I  looked  upwards  and  saw  thunder,  lightnings  and  thunder-claps.  Then  I  came  across  some  people  whose  stomachs  seemed  to  be  houses  full  of  snakes  –  one  could  see  them  from  the  the  outside  of  their  stomachs.  I  asked  Jibra’il: “Who are  they?”  He  replied:  “They  are  those  who  used  to  take  riba  (interest  or  usury).   (Ahmad)

Abstain  from  sins  which  are  not  forgiven:  Embezzling  of  the spoils,  for  whoever  embezzles  anything  will  come  with  it  on the  Day  of  Judgment,  and the  other  sin  is  riba.  

When  a  man  gives  a  loan  to  a  person  he  must  not  accept  a  gift (presented  by  the  debtor).   [Mishkat]

To sum up, presented here were seven verses of the Holy Qur’an and ten sayings from the ahadith of the noble Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) which concern the definition of riba, and its nature, and point out to the disasters it brings in the world. This much is enough for a thinking and feeling Muslim. For those interested in a more comprehensive research on the subject and a more detailed discussion on the remaining aspects may see Mas’ala-i-sud, a separate book in Urdu on the problem of interest published by this humble writer.

Distribution of Wealth in Islam

[Mufti Muhammad Shafi’ (rahmatullah alayh)]


The  distribution  of  wealth  is  one  of  the  most  important  and  most  controversial subjects  concerning  the  economic  life  of  man,  which  have  given  birth  to  global revolutions  in  the  world  of  today,  and  have  affected  every  sphere  of  human activity  from  international  politics  down  to  the  private  life  of  the  individual.  For many a century  now,  the  question  has  been  the  center  not  only  of  fervent debates,  oral  and  written  both,  but  even  of  armed  conflicts.  The  fact,  however,  is that  whatever  has  been  said  on  the  sub ject  without  seeking  guidance  from Divine  Revelation  and  relying  merely  on  human  reason,  has  had  the  sole  and inevitable  result  of  making  the  confusion  worse  confounded.

In  the  present  study,  we  propose  to  state  as  clearly  as  possible  the  point  of  view of Islâm  in  this  matter,  such  as  we  have  been  able  to  deduce  from  the  Holy Qur’ân,  the  Sunnah,  and  the  writings  of  the  “Thinkers”  (to  use  a  current  idiom) in  the  Islâmic  tradition.  The  time  and  space  at  our  disposal  being  short,  it  would not  be  possible  to  di scuss  the  subject  in  detail  so  as  to  cover  all  aspects.  We  shall, however,  try  to  set  down  the  essential  and  fundamental  points  in  a  concise  but comprehensive  manner.

Before  explaining  the  position  of  Islâm  on  the  subject  of  the  distribution  of wealth  such as  we  have  been  able  to  understand  from  the  Qur’ân,  the  Sunnah, and  the  Fiqh,  it  seems  to  be  imperative  to  clarify  certain  fundamentals  that  have an  essential  and  basic  importance  with  regard  to  almost  every  aspect  of  Islâmic economics.  Give  them  whatever name you please  call  them  “the  principles  of the  theory  of  the  distribution  of  wealth”,  or  its  “philosophy”,  or  the  “ultimate object”  of  this  theory.  In  any  case,  they  are  certain  basic  principles  which  one can  derive  from  the  Qur’ân,  and  which  distinguish  the  Islâmic  point  of  view  in economics  from  non-Islâmic  systems  of  economy.

The Position of the Economic  Question

No doubt,  Islâm  is  opposed  to  monasticism  and  views  the  economic  activities  of man as  quite  lawful,  meritorious,  and  sometimes  even  obligatory  and  necessary. It  approves  of  the  economic  progress  of  man,  and  considers  “lawful  or  righteous livelihood”  as  “an  obligation  next  to  the  obligation”  that  is  to  say,  an  obligation  of  the  secondary  order.  Notwithstanding  all  this,  it  is no  less  a  truth  that  it  does  not  consider  “economic  activity”  to  be  the  basic  problem  of  man,  nor  does  it  view  economic  progress  as  the  be-all  and  end-all  of  human  life.

Even  common  sense  can  suffice  to  show  that  the  fact  of  an  activity  being  lawful or meritorious  or  necessary  is  one  thing,  and  its  being  the  ultimate  goal  of human life  and  the  center  of  thought  and  action  is  quite  another.  Many misunderstandings  about  Islâmic  economics  arise  just  from  confusion  between these  two  distinct  and  separate  things.  It  is,  therefore,  very  essential  to  make  the distinction  as  clear  as  possible  at  the  very  outset.  In  fact,  the  profound,  basic, and  far reaching  difference  between  Islâmic  economics  and  materialistic  economics  is  just  this — according  to  materialistic economics,  “Livelihood”  is  the fundamental  problem  of  man  and  economic  developments  are  the  ultimate  end  of  human  life,  while,  according  to  Islâmic  economics,  these  things  may  be necessary  and  indispensable,  but  cannot  be  the  true  purpose  of  human  life.  So, while  we  find  in  the  Holy  Qur’ân  the  disapprobation  of  monasticism  and  the injunction  to  “seek  the  munificence  of  Allâh” (62:10)  while  we  find  the  honorific  terms  like 

“the  munificence  of  Allâh” for  trade  and commerce, 

“good  things”  (100:8; 38:32; etc.,), and  “what  Allâh  has  caused  to be  your  sustenance”  (4:4) for  possessions, 

“the  clean  and  pure things  by  way  of  nourishment” (7:31)  for  food,

“adornments  from Allâh” ( 7:31)  for  dress, 

“place  of  rest”  (16:80)  for dwellings,  we  at the  same  time  find  an  expression  like  “allurement  or  delusion” ( 3:185) for  worldly  life. 

And  all  these  things  in  their  totality  have  been  designated  as “ad-Dunyâ”  (“the mean”)  a  term  which,  in  its  literal  sense,  does  not  have  a  pleasant  connotation.  Even  from  the  total  context  of  the  Holy  Qur’ân  one  can infer  the  meanness  and  worthlessness  of  the  thing  so  designated.

On this  particular  point,  shortsightedness  may  easily  lead  one  to  suspect  a contradiction  in  terms.  But,  in  fact, the  secret  behind  the  apparent  contradiction is  that,  according  to  the  Qur’ânic  view,  all  the  means  of  livelihood  are  no  more than  just  stages  on  man’s  journey,  and  his  final  destination  lies  beyond  them and  that  destination  is  the  sublimity  of  character  and  conduct,  and, consequently,  the  felicity  of  the  other  world. 

The  real  problem  of  man  and  the fundamental  purpose  of  his  life  is  the  attainment  of  these  two  goals.  But  one cannot  attain  them  without  traversing  the  path  of  this  world.  So,  all  those  things  too  which  are  necessary  for  his  worldly  life,  become  essential  for  man.  It  comes to  mean  that  so  long  as  the  means  of  livelihood  are  being  used  only  as  a  path leading  towards  the  final  destination,  they  are,  “the  munificence  of  Allâh”,  “good things”,  ” adornment  from  Allâh”,  and  “place  of  rest”;  but  as  soon  as  man  gets  lost in  the  mazes  of  this  pathway  and  allows  himself  to  forget  his  real  destination, the  very  same  means  of  livelihood  turn  into  an  “allurement  or  delusion”,  into  a  “trial”  (8:28 ),  into  a  veritable  “foe”  (64:14).

The  Holy  Qur’ân  has  enunciated  this  basic  truth  very  precisely  in  a  brief  verse “Seek  the  other  world  by  means  of  what  Allâh  has  bestowed  upon  you” (verse 28:77).  This  principle  has  been  stated  in  several  others  too,  but  it  is  not  necessary  to  cite  them  all  before  this  learned  gathering. The  writer  believes  that  if  this  attitude  of  the  Holy  Qur’ân  towards  the  economic  activity  of  man  and  its  two  aspects  are  kept  in  view,  it  would  be  very  helpful  in solving  many problems  of  Islâmic  economics.

The Real Nature of Wealth and Property

The  other  fundamental  principle  which  has  a  great  importance  with  regard  to the  problem  of  the  distribution  of  wealth  is  that,  according  to  the  elucidation  of the  Holy Qur’ân  itself,  “wealth”  in  all  its  possible  forms  is  a  thing  created  by Allâh,  and  is,  in  principle,  His  “property”.  The  right  of  property  over  a  thing which  accrues  to  man  is  delegated  to  him  by  Allâh.  The  Holy  Qur’ân  explicitly says:

“Give  to  them  from the property  of  Allâh  which  he  has  bestowed  upon  you.” (24:33)

Why  this  should  be  so  has  also  been  explained  by  the  Holy  Qur’ân  in  another place.  All  that  man  can  do  is  invest  his  labor  into  the  process  of  production.  But Allâh  alone,  and  no  one  else,  can  cause  this  endeavor  to  be  fruitful  and  actually productive.  Man  can  do  no  more  than  sow  a  seed  in  the  soil,  but  to  bring  out  a seedling  from  the  seed  and  make  the  seedling  grow  into  a  tree  is  the  work  of someone  other  than  man.  The  Holy  Qur’ân  says:

“Have  you  considered  what  you  till?  Is  it  you  yourselves  who  make  it  grow,  or is  it  We  who  make  it  grow?” (56:63)

And  in  another  verse:

“Have  they  not  seen  that,  among  the  things  made  by  Our own hands,  We have created  cattle  for  them,  and  thus  they  acquired  the  right  of  property  over  them?” (36:71)

All  these  verses  throw  ample  light  on  the  fundamental  point  that  “wealth”,  no matter  what  its  form,  is  in  principle  “the  property”  of  Allâh,  and  it  is  He  who has  bestowed  upon  man  the  right  to  exploit  it.  So,  Allâh  has  the  right  to  demand that  man  should  subordinate  his  exploitation  of  this  wealth  to  the commandments  of  Allâh.

Thus  man  has  the  “right  of  property”  over  the  things  he  exploits,  but  thi not  absolute  or  arbitrary  or  boundlesss  right  is it  carries  along  with  it  certain  limitations and  restrictions  which  have  been  imposed  by  the  real  owner  of  the  “wealth”.  We must  spend  it  where  He  has  commanded  it  to  be  spent,  and  refrain  from spending  wh ere  He  has  forbidden.  This  point  has  been  elucidated  more explicitly  in  the  following  verse:

“Seek  the  other  world  by  means  of  what  Allâh  has  bestowed  upon  you,  and  do not  be  negligent  about  your  share  in  this  world.  And  do  good  as  Allâh  has  done good by  you,  and  do  not  seek  to  spread  disorder  on  the  earth.” (28:77)

This  verse  fully  explains  the  Islâmic  point  of  view  on  the  question  of  property.  It places  the  following  guidelines  before  us:

(1)  Whatever  wealth  man  does  possess  has  been  received  from  Allâh – “Allâh  has bestowed  upon  you”.

(2)  Man  has  to  use  it  in  such  a  way  that  his  ultimate  purpose  should  be  the  other world-  “seek  the  other  world”.

(3)  Since  wealth  has  been  received  from  Allâh,  its  exploitation  by  man  must necessarily  be  subject  to  the  commandment  of  Allâh.

(4)  Now  the  Divine  Commandment has  taken  two  forms:

a.  Allâh  may  command  man  to  convey  a  specified  portion  of  “wealth”  to another.  This  Commandment  must  be  obeyed,  because  Allâh  has  done  good  by you,  so  He  may command you  to do  good  by  another “do good as Allah has done  good  by  you”.

b.  He  may  forbid  you  to  use  this  “wealth”  in  a  specified  way.  He  has  every  right to  do  so,  because  He  cannot  allow  you  to  use  “wealth”  in  a  way  which  is  likely  to  produce  collective  ills  or  to  spread  disorder  on  the  earth “do  not  seek  to  spread  disorder  on  the  earth”.  

This  is  what  distinguishes  the  Islâmic  point  of  view  on  the  question  of  property from  the  Capitalist  and  Socialist  points  of  view.  Since  the  mental  background  of Capitalism is,  theoretically  or  practically,  materialistic,  it  gives  man  the unconditional  and  absolute  right  of  property  over  his  wealth,  and  allows  him  to employ  it  as  he  likes.  But  the  Holy  Qur’ân  has  adopted  an  attitude  of disapprobation  towards  this  theory  of property,  in  quoting  the  words  of  the nation  of  Hazrat  Shu’aib  (alayhissalaam).  They  used  to  say:

“Does  your  way  of  prayer  command  you  that  we  should  forsake  what  our  forefathers  worshipped,  or  leave  off  doing  what  we  like  with  our  own property?” (11:87)

These  people  used  to  consider  their  property  as  really  theirs  (“our  property” ),  and  hence  the  claim  of  “doing  what  we  like”  was  the  necessary  conclusion  of  their  position.  But  the  Holy  Qur’ân  has,  in  the  chapter  “Light”  (Surah al-Nur),  substituted  the  term expression  “the property  of  Allâh” for  the  “our  possessions”,  and  has  thus  struck  a  blow  at  the  very  root of  the  Capitalistic  way  of  thinking.  But,  at  the  same  time,  by  adding  the qualification “what  Allâh  has  bestowed  upon  you”,  it  has  cut  the  roots  of  Socialism  as  well,  which  starts  by  denying  man’s  right  to  private  property. Similarly, “thus  they  acquired  the  right  of  property  over  them”  a  verse  in  the  chapter  “Yâ Sîn”, explicitly  affirms  the  right  to  private  property  as  a  gift  from  Allâh.

Now  we  are  in  a  position  to  draw  clear  boundary  lines  that  separate  Islâm, Capitalism,  and  Socialism  from  one  another:

Capitalism  affirms  an  absolute  and  unconditional  right  to  private  property.

Socialism  totally  denies  the  right  to  private  property.

But  the  truth  lies  between  these  two  extremes  that  is: 

Islâm  admits  the  right  to private  property  but  does  not  consider  it  to  be  an  absolute  and  unconditional right  which  is  bound  to  cause  “disorder  on  the  earth”.

The  Objects  of  the  Distribution of  Wealth  According  to  Islam 

If  we  consider  the  injunctions  of  the  Holy  Qur’ân,  it  would  appear  that  the system  for  the  distribution  of  wealth  laid  down  by  Islâm  (a  sketch  of  which  will be  presented  later  on)  envisages  three  objects:

(a)  The  establishment  of  a  practical  system  of  economy The  first  object  of  the  distribution  of  wealth  is  that  it  would  be  the  means  of establishing  in  the  world  a  system  of  economy  which  is  natural  and  practicable, and  which,  without  using  any  compulsion  or  force,  allows  every  individual  to  function  in  a  normal  way  according  to  his  ability,  his  aptitude,  his  own  choice  and  liking,  so  that  his  activities  may  be  more  fruitful,  healthy  and  useful.  And  this  cannot  be  secured  without  a  healthy  relationship  between  the the  employee,  and  without  the  proper  utilization  employer  and of  the  natural  force  of  supply and  demand.  That  is  why  Islâm  does  admit  these  factors.  A  comprehensive indication  of  this  principle  is  to  be  found  in  the  following  verse:

“We  have  distributed  their  livelihood  among  them  in  worldly  life,  and  have raised  some  above  others  in  the  matter  of  social  degrees,  so  that  some  of  them  may  utilize  the  services  of  others  in  their  work.” (43:32)

(b)  Enabling  everyone  to  get  what  is  rightfully  due  to  him 

The  second  object  of  the  Islâmic  system  of  the  distribution  of  wealth  is  to  enable  everyone  to  get  what  is  rightfully  his.  But,  in  Islâm,  the  conception  and  the  criterion  of  this  right  is  somewhat  different  from  what  it  is  in  other  systems  of economy.  Under  materialistic  economic  systems,  there  is  only  one  way  of  acquiring  the  right  to  wealth,  and  that  is  a  direct  participation  in  the  process  of production.  In  other  words,  only  those  factors  that  have  taken  a  direct  part  in producing  wealth  are  supposed  to  be  entitled  to  a  share  in  wealth,  and  no  one else.  On  the  contrary,  the  basic  principle  of  Islâm  in  this  respect  is  that  wealth  is  in  principle  the  property  of  Allâh  Himself  and  He  alone  can  lay  down  the  rules  as  to  how  it  is  to  be  used.  So,  according  to  the  Islâmic  point  of  view,  not  only  those  who  have  directly  participated  in  the  production  of  wealth  but  those  too  whom Allâh  has  made  it  obligatory  upon  others  to  help,  are  the  legitimate  sharers  in  wealth.  Hence,  the  poor,  helpless,  the  needy,  the  paupers,  and  the destitute  they  too  have  a  right  to  wealth.  For,  Allâh  has  made  it  obligatory  on  all  those  producers  of  wealth among  whom  wealth  is  in  the  first  place  distributed  that  they  should  pass  on  to  them  some  part  of  their  wealth.  And  the Holy  Qur’ân  makes  it  quite  explicit  that  in  doing  so  they  would  not  be  obliging the  poor  and  the  needy  in  any  way,  but  only  discharging their  obligation,  for  the  poor  and  the  needy  are  entitled  to  a  share  in  wealth  as  a  matter  of  right.  Says  the Holy  Qur’ân:

“In  their  wealth  there  is  a  known  right  for  those  who  ask  for  it  and  those  who have  need  for  it.” (70:24-25)

In  certain  verses,  this right   has  been  defined  as  the right  of  Allâh.  For  example, this  verse  in  connection  with  harvests:

“and  pay  what  is  rightfully  due  to  Him  on  the  day  of  harvesting.” (6:142)

The  word  “right”  in  these  two  verses  makes  it  clear  that  participation  in  the process  of  production  is  not  the  only  source  of  the  right  to  wealth,  and  that  the needy  and  the  poor  have  as  good  a  right  to  wealth  as  does  its  primary  owners. Thus  Islâm  proposes  to  distribute  wealth  in  such  a  manner  that  all  those  who have  taken  a  part  in  production  should  receive  the  reward  for  their  contribution to  the  production  of  wealth,  and  then  all  those  too  should  receive  their  share whom  Allâh  has  given  a  right  to  wealth  (These  two  groups  of  sharers  will  be discussed  in  greater  detail  later  on).

(c)  Eradicating  the  concentration  of  wealth

The  third  object  of  the  distribution  of  wealth,  which  Islâm  considers  to  be  very important,  is  that  wealth,  instead  of  becoming  concentrated  in  a  few  hands, should  be  allowed  to  circulate  in  the  society  as  widely  as  possible,  so  that  the distinction  between  the  rich  and  the  poor  should  be  narrowed  down  as  far  as  is natural  and  practicable.  The  attitude  of  Islâm  in  this  respect  is  that  it  has  not permitted  any  individual  or  group  to  have  a  monopoly  over  the  primary  sources of  wealth,  but  has  given  every  member  of  the  society  an  equal  right  to  derive benefit  from  them.  Mines,  forests,  unowned  barren  lands,  hunting  and  fishing, wild  grass,  rivers,  seas,  spoils  of  war, etc.,  all  these  are  primary  sources  of wealth.  With  respect  to  them,  every  individual  is  entitled  to  make  use  of  them according  to  his  abilities  and  his  labor  without  anyone  being  allowed  to  have any  kind  of  monopoly  over  them.

“So  that  this  wealth  should  not  become  confined  only  to  the  rich  amongst you.” (59:7)

Beyond  this,  wherever  human  intervention  is  needed  for  the  production  of wealth  and  a  man  produces  some  kind  of  wealth  by  deploying  his  resources  and labor,  Islâm  gives  due  consideration  to  the  resources  and  labor  thus  deployed, and  recognizes  that  man’s  right  of  property  in  the  wealth  produced.  Everyone  shall  get  his  share  according  to  the  labor  and  resources  invested  by  him.  Says  the  Holy  Qur’ân:

“We have distributed  their  livelihood  among  them  in  worldly  life,  and  have  raised  some  above  others  in  the  matter  of  social  degrees,  so  that  some  of  them  may utilize  th e  services  of  others  in  their  work.” (43:32)

But  in  spite  of  this  difference  among  social  degrees  or  ranks  certain  injunctions have  been  laid  down  in  order  to  keep  this  distinction  within  such  limits  as  are necessary  for  the  establishment  of  a  practicable system  of  economy,  so  that wealth  should  not  become  concentrated  in  a  few  hands.

Of  these  three  objects  of  the  distribution  of  wealth,  the  first  distinguishes  Islâmic  economy  from  Socialism,  the  third  from  Capitalism,  and  the  second  from  both  at  the  same  time.  (This  point  will  be  discussed  in  detail  later  on.)

Having  indicated  these  basic  principles  of  Islâmic  economy,  we  would  now proceed  to  a  brief  exposition  of  the  system  of  the  distribution  of  wealth  which  one  can  derive  from  the  Qur’ân,  the  Sunnah,  and the  elucidations  of  the  Muslim jurists  (Fuqahâ).

The  Capitalist  View  of  the  Distribution  of  Wealth

In  order  to  understand  the  Islâmic point  of  view  fully,  it  would  be  better  to  have a  look  at  the  system  of  the  distribution  of  wealth  that  is  obtained  under  the  Capitalist  economy.  This  theory  can  be  briefly  stated  like  this – wealth  should  be distributed  only  over  those  who  have  taken  a  part  in  producing  it,  and  who  are described  in  the  terminology  of  economics  as  the factors  of  production.  According to  the  Capitalistic  economics,  these  factors  are  four:

1 – Capital – which  has  been  defined  as  “the  produced  means  of  production”  (that is  to say,  a  commodity  which  has  already  undergone  one  process  of  human production,  and  is  again  being  used  as  a  means  of  another  process  of production).

2 – Labor – that  is  to  say,  any  exertion  on  the  part  of  man.

3 – Land – which  has  been  defined  as  “natural  resources”  (that  is  to  say,  those things  which  are  being  used  as  means  of  production  without  having  previously undergone  any  process  of  human  production).

4 – Entrepreneur or Organization – the  fourth  factor  which  brings  together  the  other three  factors,  exploits  them  and  bears  the  risks  of  profit  and  loss  in  production.

Under  the  Capitalist  economy,  the  wealth  produced  by  the  cooperation  of  these  four  factors  is  distributed  over  these  very  four  factors  like  this:  one  share  is given  to  capital  in  the  shape  of interest,  the  second  share  to  labor  in  the  shape  of  wages,  the  third  share  to  land  in  the  shape  of rent (or  revenue),  and  the  fourth  share  (or  the  residue)  is  reserved  for  the  entrepreneur  in  the  shape  of profit.

The  Socialist  View  of  the  Distribution  of  Wealth

Under  the  Socialist  economy,  on  the  other  hand, capital and land,  instead  of being  private  property,  are  considered  to  be  national  or  collective  property.  So, the  question  of  interest  or  rent  (or  revenue)  does  not  arise  at  all  under  the philosophy  of this  system.[3]

Under  the  Socialist  system,  the entrepreneur  too  is  not  an  individual  but  the  state itself.  So,  profit  as  well  is  out  of  the  question  here – at least  in  theory.  Now,  there remains  only  one  factor–namely, labor.  And  labor  alone  is  considered  to  have  a  right  to  wealth  under  the  Socialist  system,  which  it  gets  in  the  shape  of  “wages.”

The  Islâmic  View  of  the  Distribution  of  Wealth 

The  Islâmic  system  of  the  distribution  of  wealth  is  different  from  both.  From  the Islâmic  point  of  view,  there  are  two  kinds  of  people  who  have  a  right  to  wealth:

(1)  Those  who  have  a primary  right – that  is  to  say,  those  who  have  a  right  to wealth  directly  in  consequence  of  a  participation  in  the  process  of  production.  In other  words,  it  is  those  very  “factors  of  production”  which  have  taken  a  part  in the  process  of  producing  some  kind  of  wealth. 

(2)  Those  who  have  a  secondary right – that  is  to  say,  those  who  have  not  taken  a  direct  part  in  the  process  of production,  but  it  has  been  enjoined  upon  the  producers  to  make  them  co-sharers  in  their  wealth.  We  shall  discuss  in  some  detail  these  two  groups  of people  who  have  a  right  to  wealth. 

[1] The  condition  of  “proper  utilization”  has  been  postulated  because  it  is possible  to  make  an  improper  use  of  the  forces,  and  it  has  been  the  case  under Capitalism.  Islâm  has  struck  at  the  very  root  of  such  an  improper  use,  and  has thus  eradicated  the  unbridled  exploitation  of  private  property.
[2] It  should  be  kept  in  mind  that  this  verse  initially  concerns  the  spoils  of  war which  are  one  of  the  primary  sources  of  wealth.

[3] Let  it  be  made  clear  that  we  are  here  concerned  with  the  basic  philosophy,  or  theory,  of  Socialism,  and  not  with  its  present  practice,  for  the  actual  practice  in Socialist  countries  is  quite  different  from  this  theory.

Those  who  have a  Primary  Right  to  Wealth

As  indicated  above  the  primary  right  to  wealth  is  enjoyed  by  “the  factors  of production”.  But  “the  factors  of  production”  are  not  specified  or  technically defined,  nor  is  their  share  in  wealth  determined  in  exactly  the  same  way  as  is done  under  the  Capitalist  system  of  economy.  In  fact,  the  two  ways  are  quite distinct.  From  the  Islâmic  point  of  view,  the  actual  factors  are  three,  instead  of being  four:

1- Capital – that  is,  those  means  of  production  which  cannot  be  used  in  the process  of  production  until  and  unless  during  this  process  they  are  either  wholly  consumed  or  completely  altered  in  form,  and  which,  therefore,  cannot  be  let  or leased  (for  example,  liquid  money  or  food  stuffs etc.).

2- Land – that  is,  those  means  of  production  which  are  so  used  in  the process  of production  that  their  original  and  external  form  remains  unaltered,  and  which can  hence  be  let  or  leased  (for  example,  lands,  houses,  machines etc.).

3 – Labor – that  is,  human  exertion,  whether  of  the  bodily  organs  or  of  the  mind  or  of  the  heart.  This  exertion  thus  includes  organization  and  planning  too. Whatever  “wealth”  is  produced  by  the  combined  action  of  these  three  factors would  be  primarily  distributed  over  these  three  in  this  manner:  one  share  of  it would  go  to  capital  in  the  form  of profit (and  not  in  the  form  of interest);  the second  share  would  go  to  land  in  the  form  of  rent,  and  the  third  share  would  be  given  to  labor  in  the  form  of  wages.

Socialism  and  Islâm

As  we  have  said,  the  Islâmic  system  of  the  distribution  of  wealth  is  different  from  Socialism  and  Capitalism  both.  The  distinction  between  the  Islâmic economy  and  the  Socialist  economy  is  quite  clear.  Since  Socialism  does  not admit  the  idea  of  private  property,  wealth  under  the  Socialist  system  is  distributed  only  in  the  form  of  wages.  On  the  contrary,  according  to  the  Islâmic  principles  of  the  distribution  of  wealth  which  we  have  outlined  above,  all  the things  that  exist  in  the  universe  are  the  property  of  Allâh  Himself.  Then,  the larger  part  of  these  things  is  that  which  He  has  given  equally  to  all  men  as  a common trust.  It  includes  fire,  water,  earth,  air,  light,  wild  grass,  hunting, fishing,  mines,  un-owned  and  un-cultivated  lands etc.,  which  are  not  the  property  of  any  individual,  but  a  common  trust.  Every  human  being  is  the beneficiary  of  this  trust,  and  is  equally  entitled  to  its  use.

On  the  other  hand,  there  are  certain  things  where  the  right  to  private  property must  be  recognized  if  only  for  the  simple  reason  that  without  such  a  recognition  it  would  not  be  possible  to  establish  the  practicable  and  natural  system  of economy  to  which  we  have  alluded  while  discussing  the  first  object  of  the distribution  of  wealth.  If  the  Socialist  system  is  adopted  and  all  capital  and  all land  are  totally  surrendered  to  the  state,  the  ultimate  result  can  only  be  this – we  would  be  liquidating  a  large  number  of  smaller  Capitalists,  and  putting  the huge  resources  of  national  wealth  at  the  disposal  of  a  single  big  Capitalist – the State -which  can  deal  with  this  reservoir  of  wealth  quite  arbitrarily. Socialism, thus,  leads  to  the  worst  form  of  the  concentration  of  wealth.  Moreover,  it  produces  another  great  evil.  Since  Socialism  deprives  human  labor  of  its  natural  right  to  individual  choice  and  control,  compulsion  and  force  becomes indispensable  in  order  to  make  use  of  this  labor,  which  has  a  detrimental  effect  on  its  efficiency  as  well  as  on  its  mental  health.  All  this  goes  to  show  that  the  Socialist  system  injures  two  out  of  the  three  objects  of  the  Islâmic  theory  of  the distribution  of  wealth-namely,  the  establishment  of  a  natural  system  of economy,  and  securing  for  everyone  what  rightfully  belongs  to  him. These  being  the  manifold  evils  inherent  in  the  unnatural  system  of  the  Socialist economy,  Islâm  has  not  chosen  to  put  an  end  to  private  property  altogether,  but has  rather  recognized  the  right  to  private  property  in  those  things  of  the  physical  universe  which  are  not  held  as  a  common  trust.  Islâm  has,  thus,  given  a separate  status  to  Capital  and  to  Land,  and  has  at  the  same  time  made  use  of  the natural  law  of  “supply  and  demand”  too  in  healthy  form.  Hence,  Islâm  does  not distribute  wealth  merely  in  the  form  of  wages,  as  does  Socialism,  but  in  the  form of  profit  and  rent  as  well.  But,  along  with  it,  Islâm  has  also  put  an  interdiction on  the  category of  “interest”,  and  prescribed  a  long  list  of  the  people  who  have  a secondary  right  to  wealth.  It  has  thus  eradicated  the  great  evil  of  the concentration  of  wealth  which  is  an  essential  characteristic  inherent  in Capitalism,  an  evil  which  Socialism  claims  to  remedy.

Islâm  and  Capitalism

This  is  the  fundamental  distinction  of  the  Islâmic  view  of  the  distribution  of wealth  which  sets  it  apart  from  Socialism.  It  is  equally  essential  to  understand fully  the  difference  that  exists  between  the  Islâmic  view  of  the  distribution  of wealth  and  the  Capitalist  point  of  view.  This  distinction  being  rather  subtle  and complicated,  we  will  have  to  discuss  it  in  greater  detail.

By  comparing  and  contrasting  the  brief  outlines  of  the  Islâmic  and  the  Capitalist systems  of  the distribution  of  wealth,  we  arrive  at  the  following  differences between  the  two:

(1)  The  entrepreneur,  as  a  regular  factor,  has  been  excluded  from  the  list  of  the factors  of  production,  and  only  three  factors  have  been  recognized  instead  of four.  But  this does  not  imply  that  the  very  existence  of  the  entrepreneur  has been  denied.  What  it  does  mean  is  just  this-the  entrepreneur  is  not  an independent  factor,  but  is  included  in  any  one  of  the  three  factors.

(2)  It  is  not  interest  but  profit which  has  been  considered  as  the  “reward”  for  Capital.

(3)  The  factors  of  production  have  been  defined  in  a  different  manner. Capitalism  defines  “capital”  as  “  the  produced  means  of  production.”  Hence, capital  is  supposed  to  include  machinery etc.  as  well,  beside  money  and food stuffs.  But  the  definition  of  “capital”  that  we  have  presented  while  discussing  the  Islâmic  view  of  the  distribution  of  wealth,  includes  only  those  things  which cannot  be  utilized  without  their  being  wholly  consumed,  or,  in  other  words, which  cannot  be  let  or  leased-for  example,  money.  Machinery  is  to  be  excluded from  “capital”,  according  to  this  definition.

(4)  In  the  same  way,  “land”  has  been  defined  in  a  more  general  way.  That  is  to say,  all  those  things  have  been  brought  under  this  head  which  do not  have  to  be  wholly  consumed  in  order  to  be  used.  Hence,  machinery  too  falls  under  this category.

(5)  The  definition  of  “labor”  too  has  been  generalized  so  as  to  include  mental labor  and  planning.

Let  us  now  go  into  the  details  of  this  discussion.  Under the  Capitalist  system, the  most  important  characteristic  of  the  entrepreneur  (which  entitles  him to profit)  is  supposed  to  be  that  he  bears  the  risk  of  profit  and  loss  in  his business.  That  is  to  say,  from  the  Capitalist  point  of  view,  “profit”  is  a  kind  of reward  for  his  courage  to  enter  into  a  commercial  venture  where  he  alone  will  have  to  bear  the  burden  of  a  possible  loss,  while  the  other  three  factors  of production  will  remain  immune  from  loss,  for  Capital  would  get  the  stipulated interest,  Land  the  stipulated rent,  and  Labor  the  stipulated wages.

On the  other  hand,  the  Islâmic point  of  view  insists  that  the  ability  to  take  the risk  of  a  loss  should,  in  reality,  inhere  with  capital  itself,  and  that  no  other  factor should  be  made  to  bear  the  burden  of  this  risk-in  other  words,  the  man  who wants  to  invest  his  money  in  a  certain  business  venture  must  take  this  risk.

Consequently,  the  Capitalist,  in  so  far  as  he  takes  the  risk,  is  an  entrepreneur too,  and  the  man  who  is  an  entrepreneur  is  a  Capitalist  as  well.

Now,  there  are  three  ways  in  which  capital  can  be  invested  in  a  business venture:

(1) Private  business:  the  man  who invests  capital  may  himself  run  the  business without  the  help  of  any  partners  or  shareholders.  In  this  case,  the  return  which he  gets  may  be  called  “profit”  from  the  legal  or  popular  point  of  view;  but  in economic  terms,  this  “reward”  would  be  made  up  of  (1) “profit”,  in  as  much  as capital  has  been  invested,  and  (2) “wages”,  as  earnings  of  management.

(2) Partnership:  The  second  form  of  investment  is  that  several  persons  may  jointly  invest  capital,  jointly  manage  the  business,  and  jointly  bear  the  risk of  profit  and  loss.  In  the  terminology  of  the  Fiqh,  such  a  venture  is  called “Shirkat-ul-‘Uqûd” or  “Partnership  in  contract”.

According  to  the  terminology  of  economics,  in  this  case  too  all  the  partners  will be  entitled  to  “profit”  in  so  far  as  they  have  invested  capital,  and  also  entitled  to  “wages”  in  so  far  as  they  have  taken  part  in  the  management  of  the  business. Islâm  has  sanctioned  this  form  of  business  organization  too.  This  form  was common before  the  time  of  the  Holy  Prophet  (sallallaahu  alayhi  wasallam).  He  permitted  people  to  retain  it,  and  since  then  there  has  been  a  consensus  of  opinion  on  its  permissibility.

(3) Cooperation  of  Capital  and  Organization:  The  third  form  of  investment is  that  one  person  may  invest  Capital  while  another  may  manage  the  business,  and  each  may  have  a  share  of  the  profit.  In  the  terminology  of  the  Fiqh,  it  is called  “Mudârabat”.  According  to  the  terminology  of  economics,  in  this  case,  the  person  who  invests  his  capital  (Rabb-ul-Mal) in  the  form  of  “profit  will  get  his  share”,  while  the  person  who  has  actually  managed  the  business will  get  it  in  the  form  of  “wages”.  But  if  the  person  who  has been  managing  the business  (“Mudârib”)  eventually  suffers  a  loss  in  the  business,  his  labor  will  have  gone  to  waste  just  as  the  capital  of  the  investor  has  gone  to  waste.

This  form  of  business  organization  too  is  permissible  in  Islâm.  The  Holy  Prophet (sallallaahu  alayhi  wasallam)  himself  had  made  such  an  agreement  with  Hazrat  Khadijah  (radhiyallahu  anha) before  their  marriage.  Since  then  there  has  been  a  complete  consensus  of opinion  on  this  too  among  the  jurists  of  Islâm.

Beyond  these  three  forms,  Islâm  does  not  allow  any  other  way  of  investing capital  in  a  business.

Money  Lending  Business

The  fourth  form  of  investing  Capital  which  has  since  ever  been  practised  in  non-Islâmic  societies  is  the  money  lending  business.  That  is  to  say,  one  person  lends  out  capital  in  the  form  of  a  debt,  and  a  second  person  puts  in  his  labor;  if  there  is  a  loss,  it  has  to  be  borne  by  labor,  but,  profit  or  loss,  interest  does  accrue  to capital  in  any  case.  Islâm  has  interdicted  this  form  of  investment.

“O,  believers,  fear  your  Allâh,  and  give  up  what  is  still  due  to  you  from  the interest  (usury),  if  you  are  true  believers.  But if  you  do  not  do  so,  then  take  notice  that  Allâh  and  His  Messenger  shall  war  with  you.”

The  Holy  Qur’ân  also  says:

“Yet  if  you  repent  (of  usury)  you  shall  have  your  principal.  Do  not  be  unjust  to any  one,  nor  should  any  one  be  unjust  to  you.” (2:278)

In  these  two  verses,  the  phrases  “what  is  still  due  to  you  from  the  interest”  and “you  shall  have  the  principal”  make  it  quite  explicit  that  Allâh  does  not  condone  the  least  quantity  of  interest,  that  “giving  up  the  interest”  implies  that  the credi tor  should  get  back  only  the  principal.  Thus,  one  can  clearly  see  that  Islâm considers  every  rate  of  interest  (except  zero  %)  to  be  totally  inadmissible.

In  the  pre-Islâmic  period,  certain  Arab  tribes  used  to  carry  on  their  trade  with  the  help  of  money  borrowed  on  the  basis  of  interest  from  other  tribes.  Islâm  put  an  end  to  such  transactions  altogether.  Ibn  Juraij  says:

“In  the  pre-Islâmic  period,  the  tribe  of  Banu  Amr  bin  Auf  used  to  take  interest from  the  tribe  of  Banu al-Mughira,  and  the  Banu al-Mughira  used  to  pay  this interest.  When  Islâm  came,  the  latter  owed  a  considerable  amount  of  money  to the  former.”

And  further  on:

“The  Banu al-Mughira  used  to  pay  interest  to  the  Banu  Thaqif.”

Let  it  be  understood  that  the  position  of  every  Arab  tribe  was  like  that  of  a  joint company,  carrying  on  trade  with  the  joint  Capital  of  its  individual  members.  So, when a tribe  would  borrow  collectively  from  another  tribe,  it  would  usually  be  for  the  purposes  of  trade.  The  Holy  Qur’ân  prohibited  even  this  practice.

Thus,  under  the  Islâmic  system  of  economy,  if  a  man  wants  to  lend  his  money  to  a  businessman  for  being  invested  in  business,  he  will  have  first  to  decide  clearly  whether  he  wishes  to  lend  this  money  in  order  to  have  a  share  in  the  profit,  or simply  to  help  the  businessman  with  his  money.  If  he  means  to  earn  the  right  to a  share  in  the  profit  by  lending  his  money,  he  will  have  to  adopt  the  mode  of “partnership”  or  that  of  “co-operation”  (will  have  to  bear  the  responsibility  of  profit  or  loss).  That  is  to  say,  he  too  if  there  is  eventually  a  profit  in  the  enterprise,  he  shall  have  a  share  in  the  profit;  but  if  there  is  a  loss,  he  shall  have  to  share  the  loss  too.

On the  other  hand,  if  he  is  lending  this  money  to  another  person  by  way  of  help, then  he  must  necessarily  regard  this  help  as  no  more  than  help,  and  must  forgo  all  demand  for  a  “profit”.  He  will  be  entitled  to  get  back  only  as  much  money  as he  has  lent  out.  Islâm  considers  it  not  only  unjust  but  also  meaningless  that  he  should  fix  a  rate  of  “interest”  and  thus  place  all  the  burden  of  a  possible  loss  on  the  debtor.

This  discussion  makes  it  clear  that  Islâm  places  the  responsibility  of  “taking  the  risk  of  loss”  on  Capital.  The  man  who  invests  capital  in  a  risk-bearing  business  enterprise  shall  have  to  take  this  risk.  Thus  while,  according  to  most economists,  the  essential  characteristic  of  an  “entrepreneur”  is  that  he  takes  a  risk , Islâm  considers  it  to  be  in  principle  the  characteristic  of  “Capital”.  Thus,  under  the Islâmic system  of  economy, Capital  and  Entrepreneur  become  one  and  the same,  and their  share  in  the  distribution  of  wealth  is  profit,  not  interest.  But  if  one  were  to regard  (as  some  economists  do) the  essential  characteristic  of   an  entrepreneur  to  be management  and  planning,  then  this  activity  falls  under  the  head  of  “labor”  and  to consider  it  as  a  separate  factor is  unnecessary  elaboration.

If a man invests capital borrowed on the basis of “debt without interest” and has not made any agreement with the creditor  for a“partnership”  or “cooperation”, the  debtor  himself  becomes  then owner of this  capital  after  having borrowed  it, and  now  he investsit in  the  capacity  of  a Capitalist. So,  he  himself  shall have  to  bear  the  responsibility of  loss.

The  Difference  between  Rent  and  Interest

The  foregoing  discussion  has  sufficiently  established  the  fact  that  Islâm  considers  “profit”  and  “wages”  to  be  lawful  and  “interest”  to  be  unlawful.  Now we  are  left  with  the  fourth  item  namely  “rent”.  Islâm  considers  this  too  as lawful.  But  there  arises  a  question  in  the  minds  of  some  men  on  this  point – when  taking  or  giving  interest  on  capital  is  unlawful  because  of  there  being  a  fixed  rate,  why  should  rent  on  land  (which  includes  machinery,  according  to  our terminology)  be  lawful,  rent  also  being  something  fixed?

In  order  to  answer  this  question,  one  should  first  understand  that  important distinction.  The  material  resources  employed  in  economic  operations  are  of  two kinds.  On  the  one  hand  are  those  goods  which,  in  order  to  be  utilized  and  exploited,  do  not  have  to  be  wholly  consumed  but  may  retain  their  form  as  such  while  being  utilized, e.g. ,  land,  machines,  furniture,  carriages, etc .,  which  can  be  utilized  without  impairing  their  identity.  Since  such  commodities  are exploitable  in  themselves,  and  the  modes  of  utilizing  them  are  such  that  the  person  who  takes  them  on  rent  does  not  have  to  exert  himself  in  the  least,  while  their  constant  use  depreciates  them  in  value,  so  taking  or  giving  “wages”  for  the  utility  yield  is  quite  just  and  reasonable.  It  is  to  these  “wages  for  the  utilities provided”  that  Islâm  gives  the  name  of  “rent”.

On  the  other  hand,  money  is  a  commodity  which  has  to  be  wholly  consumed  in order  to  be  utilized.  One  cannot  derive  any  benefit  from  it  until  one  has  bought  something  for  this  money.  So,  money  is  not  utilizable  in  itself.  Hence,  on  the  one  hand,  no  matter  what  the  benefit  which  the  debtor  wishes  to  derive  from  it,  he has  to  spend  the  money  and  then  to  put  in  his  own  labor  in  order  to  derive  that  benefit;  on  the  other  hand,  the  value  of  money  does  not  suffer  on  account  of being  used  by  him.  That  is  why  it  would  be  unreasonable  to  impose  a  fixed  rate  of  interest  on  this  money.  The  owner  of  the  money  has  the  free  choice  either  not  to  lend  his  money  at  all  or  to  enter  into  a  “partnership”  or  “cooperation”  with  the  person  who  needs  the  money.  But  if  he  lends  the  money  in  the form  of  a  debt,  Islâm  cannot  allow  him  to  charge  an  interest  on  it  according  to  a fixed  rate.

It  is  on  this  basis  that  we  have  defined  our  terms  like  this – the  things  which  are not  utilizable  in  themselves  without  being  wholly  consumed  would  be  called  “capital”;  when  they  enter  into  a  commercial  enterprise  as  a  factor  of production,  they  would  be  entitled  to  profit;  the  things  which  are  utilizable  even without  being  wholly  consumed  would  be  called  “land”,  and  on  account  of having  participated  in  the  process  of  production  they  would  receive  some  part of  the  wealth  in  the  form  of rent.

The  Prohibition  of  Interest  and  its  Effect  on  the Distribution  of Wealth

As  the  foregoing  discussion  has  made  clear,  one  of  the  basic  differences  be tween the  Islâmic  system  and  the  Capitalist  system  with  regard  to  the  distribution  of wealth  is  that  Capitalism  allows  interest,  while  Islâm  forbids  it.  Now,  it  would  be  proper  to  have  a  cursory  glance  at  another  aspect  of  the  problem  too – what  are  the  consequences  that  follow  from  the  interdiction  placed  upon  interest?

In  fact,  the  prohibition  of  interest  has  very  far-reaching,  beneficial,  and  profound  effects  on  the  whole  system  of  the  production  of  wealth  itself.  But  this  discussion  would  lead  us  far  beyond  the  subject  of  this  article.  So,  for  the  moment,  we  shall  only  summarily  indicate  the  effects  which  Islâmic  injunctions  do  have  on  the  system  of  the  distribution  of  wealth.  A  very  simple  consequence of  the  prohibition  of  interest  is  that  it  produces a  balance  and  uniformity  in  the  distribution  of  wealth.  The  necessary  characteristic  of  the  economy  based  on interest  is  that  the  profit  of  one  of  the  parties  (i.e., Capital)  is  assured  in  a  fixed  form  under  all  circumstances,  but,  contrarily,  the  profit  of  the  other  party  (i.e. Labor)  remains  uncertain  and  doubtful.  Big  commercial  enterprises,  no  matter  how  profitable  they  become,  can  never  be  considered  immune  from  risk. In  fact,  while  the  “risks”  of  big  business  have  been  decreased  because  the  means of  production  are  available  in  an  adequate  measure,  they  have  at  the  same  time  been  increased  by  certain  external  factors.  The  bigger  is  the  enterprise,  the greater  these  risks  are.  So,  under  the  Capitalist  economy,  the  balance  of  the distribution  of  wealth  becomes  very  unsteady.  Sometimes  the  debtor  has  to  bear severe  loss,  while  the  creditor  goes  on  minting  money.  Sometimes,  on  the  other  hand,  the  entrepreneur  earns  a  huge  profit,  while  the  man  who  has  provided  the capital  gets  only  an  insignificant  share  from it.

Contrary  to  it,  since  Islâm  prohibits  interest,  it  would  in  practice  allow  only  two  forms  of  investing  capital  in  the  modern  world  “Cooperation” and “Partnership”.  Both  these  forms  are  completely  free  from  this  injustice  and  imbalance  in  the  distribution  of  wealth.  Under  these  two  forms  of  investment,  if  there  is  a  loss,  it  has  to  be  borne  by  both  the  parties,  and  if  there  is  a  profit,  both  have  a  proportionate  share  in  it.  This  mode  of  investment  to  a  great  extent  serves  as  an  effective  check  on  the  concentration  of  wealth,  which  is  the  greatest  evil  of  the  Capitalist  economy.  Wealth,  instead  of  becoming accumulated  in  the  hands  of  a  few,  is  so  distributed  over  a  very  large  number  of  individuals  in  the  society  that  no  injustice  is  done  to  a nyone.  Under  the  Capitalist  system,  economy  being  based  on  interest,  Capitalists  come  not  only  to  own  the  greater  part  of  national  wealth,  but  also  to  control  the  whole  market and  to  run  it  in  their  own  selfish  interest.  As  a  result  of  this,  the  system  of “the  supply  of  commodities”  and  that  of  “prices”  can  no  longer  function  in  a  natural manner,  but  becomes  artificial  in  so  nefarious  a  way  that  no  sphere  of  life,  from  economy,  manners  and  morals  to  politics,  can  escape  its  evil  influences.

By  prohibiting  interest,  Islâm  has  struck  at  the  very  root  of  these  evils.  Under  the Islâmic  system,  every  one  who  invests  his  money  has  a  share  in  the  enterprise and  its  policy,  bears  the  responsibility  of  profit  and  loss  both,  and  thus  he  is  no longer  allowed  to  have  his  own  way  in  business.

A  Doubt  and  its  Clarification

It  is  necessary  to  clarify  a  doubt  that  may  arise  here.  In  discussing  the  evils  of the  economy  based  on  interest,  we  have  said  that  it  produces  an  imbalance  in  the  distribution  of  wealth,  and  that  one  of  the  two  parties  in  a  business enterprise  is  necessarily  affected  by  it.  Some  people  are  quite  likely  to  raise  the objection  that  the  man  who  suffers  a  loss  in  a  transaction  based  on  interest,  suffers  it  through  his  own  choice – if  he  deliberately  exposes  himself  to  such  risk, why  should  the  law  of  the  Shari’ah  interfere  with  his  right  to  do  so?

Even  a  little  reflection  would  easily  solve  this  problem.  A  slight  acquaintance  with  the  Islâmic  way  of  life  should  be  sufficient  to  bring  out  the  principle  that,  according  to  Islâm,  the  mutual  consent  of  two  parties  does  not  always  justify  a  certain  transaction.  If  a  man  is  willing  to  get  murdered  by  another  man,  this  fact  would  not  absolve  the  murderer  of  his  crime.  Even  in  the  case  of  fornication,  which  the  West  in  its  short-sightedness  considers  to  be  a  private  affair  of  the individual,  mutual  consent  of  the  two  parties  cannot  absolve  the  criminals.  The  question  of  the  distribution  of  wealth  and  economic  welfare  goes  much  beyond  this.  We  have  already  explained,  with  due  quotations from  the  Holy  Qur’ân,  that  wealth  is  in  principle  the  property  of  Allâh  Himself,  and  that  the  ownership  He  has  bestowed  upon  man  is,  far  from  being  unconditional  and  unbridled,  subject  to  certain  principles  laid  down  by  Allâh  Himself.  That  is  the  reason Islâm  does  not  allow  the  mutual  consent  of  the  parties  concerned  to  be  treated  as  a  justification  for  a  transaction  which  Islâm  regards  as  intrinsically  unjust  or which  can  prove  to  be  detrimental  to  the  collective  welfare  of  society.  This  is the raison d’être behind  the  strong  prohibition,  in  the  tradition  of  the  Holy Prophet  (sallallaahu  alayhi  wasallam),  of (buying  grain  from  the  caravans  coming  from  the country-side  before  they  reach  a  town),  of  from  the  country   -side  through  a  middle  man  in  the  days  of famine), of (exchanging  grain  that  is  yet  in  the  ears  for  grain  that  has  already  been  harvested),  of (exchanging  fruits  on  a  tree  for  plucked  fruits),  and  of (taking  a  fixed  amount  of  grain  from  the  harvest  of  a  land  given  on  lease),  inspite  of  their  being  based  on  the  mutual  agreement  of  the  parties  involved.  Hence,  the  mere  fact  that  the  parties  involved  have  agreed  upon  it, cannot  serve  as  a  valid  justification  for  a  transaction  based  on  interest.

In  the  early  days  of  Islâm,  the  objection  which  people  bred  in  the  pre-Islamic  ways  generally  raised  against  the  prohibition  of  interest  was  this:

“Trade  is  exactly  like  interest.” (2:275)

The  Holy  Qur’ân  refutes  this  argument  in  a  concise  phrase:

“And  Allâh  has  permitted  trade,  and  forbidden  interest.”  (2:275) 

It  is  worth  noticing  here  that,  in  refuting  this  objection,  Allâh  the  Exalted  has  not enunciated  any  principle  or  purpose  of  the  prohibition  of  interest,  but  has,  so  to  say,  simply  indicated  that  since  Allâh  has  declared  trade  lawful  and  interest unlawful,  one  shall  have  to  abide  by  this  commandment,  whether  one understands  its raison  d’être  or  not.  Instead  of  elucidating  the  justifying principles  in  this  place,  the  Holy  Qur’ân  has  adopted  the  mode  of  authority, which  cuts  off  the  very  root  of  all  objections  to  the  prohibition  of  interest.

In  short,  the  prohibition  of  interest  by  Islâm  is  the  wisest  solution  of  the  problem  which,  on  the  one  hand,  eliminates  many  evils  of  the  Capitalist  economy,  and,  on  the  other,  leaves  no  need  for  the  adoption  of  the  tyrannical  and  unnatural  economic  system  of  Socialism.  This  is  the  middle  way  which  alone  can  save  the modern  world  from  the  two  extremes  of  license  and  servitude,  and  lead  it towards  a  balanced  and  equitable  economic  system.  The  French  orientalist  Lou Massignon  has  said  something  very  pertinent  on  this  point:

“In  the  conflict  between  Capitalism  and  Socialism,  only  that  culture  can  be  assured  of  a  secure  and  bright  future  which  not  only  prohibits  interest  but  also  makes  people  abide  by  this  prohibition.”

The Problem of Wages

So  far  we  have  been  able  to  establish  one  basic  distinction  between  Islâm  and  Capitalism  with  regards  to  the  distribution  of  wealth  and  this  distinction  is  related  to  the  subject  of  interest.  Now,  there  is  another  distinction  between  the two  which  one  must  bear  in  mind,  and  which  concerns  the  relationship  between the  employer  and  the  employee.  This  would  necessitate  a  discussion  of  the  problem  of  wages.

The  violent  reaction  against  the  Capitalist  system  in  the  present  age  is  largely  an outcome  of  the  conf licts  between  employers  and  employees  and  of  the  problems arising  from  the  fixation  of  wages.  Since  the  Capitalist  economy  is  based  on  the principle  of  selfish  and  unqualified  private  ownership,  the  relationship  of “ Supply  and  Demand ”  between  the  employer  and  the  employee  is  only  a mechanical,  harsh,  and  formal  relationship  which  rests  on  undiluted  self-interest.  The  employer  respects  the  humanity  of  the  employee  (laborer)  only  so far  as  he  is  obliged  to  do  so  in  the  interest  of  his  own  business.  As  soon  as he  no  longer  feels  this  obligation,  he  readily  adopts  oppressive  measures.  On  the  other hand,  the  employee  is  interested  in  the  work  of  the  employer  and  prepared  to  carry  out  his  orders  only  so  long  as  his  livelihood  depends  on  the  employer.  The moment  this  dependence  is  over,  he  will  unscrupulously  shirk  his  work  and  even  go  on  strike.  This  results  in  a  perpetual  struggle  between  the  Laborer  and  the  Capitalist,  making  it  impossible  for  a  healthy  rapport  to  emerge  between  the  two.

On the  contrary,  although  Islâm  does  admit  the  principle  of supply  and  demand  as  affecting,  to  a  certain  extent,  the  relationship  between  the  employer  and  employee,  yet  it  has  at  the  same  time  imposed  certain  restrictions  on  the  supply  as  well  as  the  demand of  labor  in  such  a  manner  that  their  business  relationship  no  longer  remains  merely  mechanical,  but  becomes  almost  fraternal.  As  to  what  should  the  attitude  of  the  employer  be  towards  the employee,  the  Holy  Qur’ân  has  made  it  quite  explicit  in  a  short  but  comprehensive  phrase,  while  citing  the  words  of  Hazrat  Shu’aib  (alayhissalaam). Hazrat  Shu’aib  (alayhissalaam) stood  in  the  position  of  the  employer  for  Hazrat  Musa  (alayhissalaam) and  said 

“I  do  not  desire  to  lay  (an  undue)  burden  of  labor  on  you.  If  Allâh  wills,  you  will certainly  find  me  to  be  one  of  the  righteous.” (28:27)

This  verse  makes  it  quite  clear  that  an  employer  who  is  a  Muslim  and  whose  ultimate  goal  in  life  is  hence  to  become  “righteous”,  cannot  be  “righteous”  until  and  unless  he  has  the  desire  to  protect  his  employee  from  the  burden  of unnecessary  labor.  The  Holy  Prophet  (sallallaahu  alayhi  wasallam) has  elucidated  this  point  further  in  explicit  terms:  

“Your  brethren  are  your  servants  whom  Allâh  has  made  your  subordinate.  So,  the  man  who  has  his  brother  as  his  subordinate,  should  give  him  to  eat  from what  he  himself  eats,  and  to  wear  what  he  himself  wears.  And  do  not  put  on  them  the  burden  of  any  labor  which  may  exhaust  them.  And  if  you  have  to  put  any  such  burden  on  them,  then  help  them  yourselves  (in  this  work).”

Another  tradition  says:

“Pay  his  wages  to  the  worker  before  his  sweat  gets  dried.”

The  Holy  Prophet  (sallallaahu alayhi  wasallam)  also  said  that there  are  three  people  who  will  find  him on  the  Day  of  Judgement  as  their  enemy.  One  of  these  three  is:

“The  man  who  employs  a  worker  on  wages,  then  takes  the  full  measure  of  work from  him,  but  does  not  pay  him  his  wages.”

How  solicitous  the  Holy  Prophet  (sallallaahu  alayhi  wasallam)  was  about  the  rights  of  the  laborer  can  be gauged  from  a  tradition  which  comes  down  from  Hazrat  Ali  (radhiyallahu  anhu). He  reports  that  before  his  departure  from  this  world,  the  last  words  of  the  Holy Prophet  (sallallaahu  alayhi  wasallam)  were:  “Take  heed  of  the  (daily)  prayers  and  of  (the  rights  of)  those  who  are subordinate  to  you.” 

In  consequence  of  these  injunctions,  the  laborer  was  able  to  receive  a  dignified  and  brotherly  position  in  Islâmic  society,  and  we  find  countless  examples  of  this in  the  history  of  the  Early  Period  of  Islâm.  One  can  say  with  absolute  confidence and  certainty  that  it  is  not  possible  to  safeguard  the  rights  of  the  laborer  in  a  better  way.

On  the  other  hand,  Islâm  has  laid  down  certain  other  injunctions  which  bind  the employee  as  well,  and  has  thus  made  his  relations  with  the  employer  still  more  congenial.  From  the  Islâmic  point  of  view,  the  laborer,  in  undertaking  the responsibility  of  doing  some  work  for  an  employer,  enters  into  a  contract  which  he  must  honor  not  only  for  earning  his  livelihood  but  also  for  his  felicity  in  the  other  world  which  is  his  real  and  ultimate  goal.  The  Holy  Qur’ân  has  this  to  say on  the  subject:

“O  believers,  fulfil  your  bonds.” (5:1)

And  further  on:

“Surely  the  best  man  you  can  hire  is  the  one  who  is  strong  and  trustworthy.” (28:26)

And  still  further:

“Woe to  those  who are  dishonest  in  weighing  and  measuring  those  who  exact  full  measure  when  they  receive  their  due  from  others,  but  give  less  than  due  when  they  measure  or  weigh  for  them.” (83:1)

According  to  the  elucidations  of  the  jurists  of  Islâm  (Fuqahâ),  the  word  “tatfeef” (underweighing  and  undermeasuring)  in  this  verse  includes  in  its  connotation  even  the  laborer  who  receives  in  full  the  wages  that  have  been  agreed  upon,  and yet  does  not  give  the  full  measure  of  work,  and  employs  that  portion  of  time  which  he  has  given  away  to  the  employer  in  doing  some  other  work,  contrary  to the  wishes  of  his  employer.  These  injunctions,  thus,  declare  the  shirking  of  work  to  be  a  great  sin,  and  make  it  quite  clear  to  the  employee  that  once  he  has  taken  upon  himself  the  responsibility  of  doing  some  work  for  an  employer,  the  work has  now  become  his  own,  and  that  he  is  under  the  obligation  to  complete  it  with  perfect  honesty,  application,  and  zeal,  otherwise  he  will not  be  able  to  attain  the  felicity  in  the  other  world  which  is  his  real  and  ultimate  goal.

With  regard  to  the  problem  of  wages,  in  short,  Islâm,  while  admitting  to  a certain  extent  the  principle  of  “supply  and  demand ”  has  at  the  same  time  laid down certain  injunctions  for  the  employer  and  the  employee  both,  so  that  the system  of  supply  and  demand  has  come  to  be  based  on  human  sympathy  and brotherhood,  and  not  on  self-interest. One  may  possibly  have  a  doubt  here  down  that  the  nature  of  the  injunctions  laid by  the  Qur’ân  and  the  Sunnah  in  order  to  control  the  employer  and  the  employee  both,  is  similar  to  that  of  moral  precepts,  which  have  no  validity  from  the  economic  or  legal  point  of  view.  But  such  an  objection  would  arise  from  an  improper  understanding  of the  spirit  of  Islâm.  One  should  all  the  time  bear  in mind  that  Islâm  is  not  a  mere  economic  system,  but  a  complete  code  of  life  in  which  all  the  spheres  of  human  life  function  as  inter -related  parts  of  a  whole. The  attempt  to  consider  any  one  of  these  spheres  in  isolation  from  others  would necessarily  produce  many  misunderstandings.  The  true  aspect  of  each  of  these spheres  can  emerge  only  when  it  is  given  its  proper  place  within  the  total  code of  life,  and  is  viewed  in  this  perspective.  So,  it  would  not  be possible  to  exclude  these  so-called  “moral  precepts”  from  any  discussion  of  the  Islâmic  economy.

Then  there  is  another  distinctive  feature  of  Islâm.  If  one  takes  a  larger  view,  even these  “moral  precepts”  are  in  reality  legal  injunctions,  for  the  reward  or  the  punishment  of  the  other  world  finally  depends  on  them  and  it  is  the  reward and  punishment  which  has  the  fundamental  importance  in  the  life  of  a  Muslim. It  is  just  this  “Doctrine  of  the  Other  World”  which  has  not  only  given  the authority  of  Law  to  Ethics,  but  has  also  been  at  the  back  of  “laws”  in  the technical  sense.  If  you  carefully  consider  the  Qur’ânic  idiom,  you  will  find  that the  notions  of  “fear  of  Allâh”  and  “solicitude  for  the  other  world ”  are  always appended  to  every  legal  or  ethical  injunction.  The  secret  behind  it  is  that,  in  fact, man can  never  be  made  to  abide  by  laws  merely  out  of  fear  of  human  force  or coercion  until  and  unless  “solicitude  for  the  other  world”  is  there  to  keep  a constant  watch  over  each  and  every  action,  movement  or  thought  of  man.  As  for that,  the  several  thousand  year  old  history  of  mankind,  which  has  been  full  of  numberless  oppressions,  inequities  and  crimes  inspite  of  all  the  legal imperatives,  can  easily  bear  witness  to  this  irrefutable  fact.  And,  in  particular,  the so-called  “civilized  world”  of  today  has  made  it  clear  like  daylight  that  the  speed  with  which  crimes  have  been  increasing  is  far  greater  than  the  speed  with which  legal  machinery  is  being  strengthened  to  overtake  them.

So,  the  fond  belief  that  the  relations  between  the  employer  and  the  employee  can  be  improved  with  the  help  of  legal  provisions  is  no  more  than  a  self-delusion  of  the  worst  sort.  Its  real  remedy  is  only  the  “solicitude  for  the  other  world”  and  nothing  else.  And  Islâm  has  put  all  possible emphasis  on  just  truth  in  this  matter. 

The  modern  mind,  which  has  gotten  itself  entangled  in  the  confusions  of  the  worldly  life  and  has  thus  lost  the  capacity  to  look  beyond  matter,  may  perhaps  find  it  difficult  to  understand  this  truth.  But  it  is  certain  that  if  mankind  is  at  all destined  to  attain  a  peaceful  existence,  it  will,  after  a  hundred  pitfalls,  arrive  finally  at  the  truth  which  the  Holy  Qur’ân  has  stressed  again  and  again.  The world  has  already  witnessed  sufficiently  the  veracity  of  this  Qur’ânic  concept  during  the  time  when  Islâm  was  really  functioning  as  a  system  in  actual practice.  In  the  history  of  that  period,  one  would  seek  in  vain  for  an  example  of  the  conflicts  between  employers  and  employees  which  have  been  upturning  our  world  for  some  time  past.  It  was  just  these  “moral  precepts”  of  the  Qur’ân  and  the  Sunnah  which  made  a  practical  demonstration  of  how  this  problem  could  be  solved  in  a  satisfactory  way,  and  because  of  which  the  history  of  the  Early  Period  of  Islâm  is  almost  free  from  the  violent  disputes  and  workers’  strike  of today.

The  Secondary  Heads  of  the Distribution  of  Wealth

So  far  our  discussion  has  been  concerned  with  those  who  have  a  primary  right  in  the  distribution  of  wealth.  A  significant  characteristic  of  the  Islâmic  theory  of the  distribution  of  wealth  is  that,  in  order  to  strengthen  the  weaker  elements  of society  and  to  make  those  who  have  no work  to  do  capable  of  useful  work,  it  has  prescribed,  beside  the  factors  of  production,  a  long  list  of  those  who  have  a secondary  right  to  wealth,  and  has  laid  down  a  regular  system  for  gaining  this  objective.

In  the  introductory  part  of  this article,  it  has  already  been  indicated  that  wealth  is  in  principle  the  property  of  Allâh  Himself,  that  He  is  the  real  creator  of  wealth,  and  it  is  He  who  has  bestowed  upon  man  the  right  of  ownership  over  it. Man  is,  no  doubt,  the  owner  of  the  reward  which  he  gets  in  return  for  his  endeavour,  but  it  is  Allâh  who,  in  His  grace,  gives  him  the  ability  to  make  this  endeavour  and  it  is  He  who  has  created  wealth.  So,  man  is  not  altogether  free  to put  his  property  to  any  use  he  likes,  but  is  bound  by  the  Commandments  of  Allâh.  Man  is  hence  under  the  obligation  to  spend  this  wealth  where  Allâh  commands  him  to  spend. This  basic  idea  automatically  leads  to  a  second  category  of  entitlement  to  wealth  outside  the  factors  of  production  that  is  to  say,  according  to  the  Islâmic  point  of  view  every  such  person  is  entitled  to  wealth  to  whom  the  primary  owners  of  wealth  are bound  under  an  obligation  laid  on  them  by  Allâh  to  convey  it.  Thus  we  arrive  at  a  long  list  of  the  secondary  heads  in  the  distribution  of  wealth,  under  each  of  which  there  are  persons  entitled  to  a  share  in  wealth.

In  laying  down  these  categories,  Islâm  in  fact  wants  that  wealth  should  be  given  as  wide  a  circulation  in  society  as  possible,  and  that  the  restrictions  that  have  been  imposed  on  the  concentration  of  wealth  through  the  prohibition  of  interest  should  be  further  extended.  It  is  not  possible  to  give  a  detailed  account  of  these categories  in  this  short  article.  We  would,  however,  enumerate  them  briefly:

(a)  Zakât 

The  first  and  the  widest  of  these  heads  is  Zakât.  The  Holy  Qur’ân  has  mentioned  this  obligation  in  numerous  places  along  with  Salât  (the  daily prayers).  Every  person  who  possesses  silver  or  gold  or  cattle  or  merchandise  in a  certain  prescribed  quantity  a nd  above  it  is  under  the  obligation  to  spend,  after the  passage  of  one  year,  a  certain  part  of  his  possessions  on  other  needy  persons. And  with  regard  to  the  man  who  does  not  fulfil  this  obligation,  the  Holy  Qur’ân  has  this  to  say:

“Those  who  treasure up  gold  and  silver,  and  do  not  spend  them  in  the  way  of  Allâh  give  them  tidings  of  painful  chastisement,  the  day  this  (wealth)  shall  be  heated  in  the  fire  of  Hell,  and  their  foreheads,  their  sides,  and  their  backs  shall  be  branded  with  it.  (It  will  be  said  to  them,)  ‘This  is  what  you  had  treasured  up for  yourselves;  now  taste  of  what  you  were  treasuring.’” (9:34-35)

Then  the  Holy  Qur’ân  itself  has  laid  down  eight  items  where  this  Zakât  is  to  be spent.  By  prescribing  eight  items  of  expenditure  under  the  single  head  of  Zakât, the  Holy  Qur’ân  has  opened  the  way  to  the  widest  possible  circulation  of wealth.

The  common  factor  among  these  items  of  expenditure  for  Zakât  which  entitles  a person  to  receive  it  is  “poverty”  and  “neediness”.  And  this  head  (Zakât)  is  chiefly  meant  for  the  eradication  of  poverty.  An  indication  of  how  wide  the distribution  of  wealth  among  the  poor  and  the  needy  can  be  made  under  the head  of  Zakât,  is  provided  by  the  fact  that  the  national  income  of  Pakistan  was  nearly  Rs.15,300,000,000  in 1965;  now,  if  we  levy  Zakât  on  this  national  income at  its  lowest  rate  (that  is  2.5%),  it  comes  to  mean  that  at  least  Rs.  302,500,000  can  be  distributed  among  the  needy  and  the  poor  annually.  One  can  easily  see  what  a  huge  amount  of  money  will  every  year  pass  from  the  pockets  of  the  Capitalists  to  the  hands  of  the  needy  and  the  poor,  if  all  the  factors  of  production  pay  the annual  Zakât  regularly,  and  how  soon  the  glaring  inequality  in  the  distribution  of  wealth  will  thus  be  done  away  with.

(b)  ‘Ushr

Ushr  is  in  fact  a  form  of  Zakât  which  is  levied  on  land  produce.  But,  since  human  labor  is  comparatively  less  involved  in  this  kind  of  production,  the  rate  of  the  levy  here  is  10%,  or  in  some  cases  20%  instead  of  2.5%.  This  levy  is  due  only  on  the  produce  of  those  lands  which,  according  to  the  expositions  of  the  Fiqh,  come  under  the  special  category  of  ‘Ushri  lands.  ‘Ushr  is  spent  on  the  same items  as  Zakât.

(c)  Kaffârât

Islâm  has  prescribed  another  regular  mode  of  transmitting  wealth  to  hundreds  of  individuals  in  a  society  and  that  is  the  mode  of  “Kaffârât” (expiation  money).  If  someone  breaks  his  fast  during  Ramadân  without  a  proper excuse,  or  kills  another  Muslim  unintentionally,  or  compares  his  wife  with  the back  of  a  female  within  prohibited degrees  of  relationship  (which amounts  to  taking  an  oath  not  to  have  connubial  relations  with  her),  or  breaks  a  vow after  having  taken  it,  he  has  been  enjoined  to  spend  (compulsorily  in  some  cases,  and  voluntarily  in  others)  some  of  his  wealth  over  the  needy  and  the  poor. This  can  be  done  in  the  form  of  cash,  and  also  in  the  form  of  food  or  clothes.

(d)  Sadaqat ul-Fitr 

Besides  this,  it  has  been  made  compulsory  for  those  whose possessions  come  up  to  a  certain  specified  quantity  that  on  the  occasion  of  the  Î’d-ul-Fitr  they  should,  before  going  to  the  prayers,  distribute  among  the needy,  the  poor,  orphans  and  widows,  wheat  or  its  price  at  the  rate  of  1  3/4 seers  per  number  of  the  family.  Everyone  has  to  pay  this  sum  not  only  on  his  or her  own  behalf ,  but  even  on  behalf  of  one’s  minor  children.  To  make  such  charity  obligatory  this  condition  too  is  not  necessary  that  the  possessions  which  give  rise  to  the  obligation  should  consist  of  objects  of  growth  or  should  have  been  held  for  one  complete  year.  So,  the  sphere  of  this  obligation  is  even  wider than  that  of  Zakât,  and  it  can  lead  to  the  greatest  possible  demonstration  of  the principle  of  brotherhood,  particularly  on  the  occasion  of  a  collective  festivity.

These  four  categories  are  intended  to  distribute  wealth  among  the  needy  and  the poor.  Beside  them  there  are  two  more  categories  which  are  intended  to  provide help  to  one’s  relatives  and  to  give  them  a  share  in  one’s  wealth.  One  of  them  is the  category  of  “Nafaqât”  (Maintenance)  and  the  other  is  that  of  “Wirâsat” (Inheritance).

(e)  Nafaqât  

Islâm  has  placed  on  everyone  the  responsibility  of  supporting  his  close relatives,  some  of  these  relatives  are  such  as  must  be  supported  in  any  case compulsorily,  whether  one  is  well  to  do  or  poor  does  not  matter  among  such  relatives  are,  for  example,  one’s  wife  and  minor  children.  Then,  there  are  other  relatives  who  have  to  be  supported  only  if  one  possesses  the  means  to  do  so. The  Islâmic  law  provides  a  long  list  of  such  relatives.  This  injunction  gives  rise  to  a  very  fine  arrangement  for  the  maintenance  of  the  helpless  and  weak members  of  a  family.

(f)  Wirâsat 

The  Islâmic  system  of  inheritance  has  a  basic  importance  in  the  Islâmic system  of  the  distribution  of  wealth.  It  is  not  really  necessa ry  to  expatiate  upon the  inequity  produced  in  the  distribution  of  wealth  by  the  restricted  forms  of inheritance.  One  of  the  greatest  causes  of  the  inequity  that  is  found  in  Western  countries  in  this  sphere  is  just  this,  and  many  economists  have  admitted  this fact.

The  system  of  inheritance  that  is  generally  prevalent  in  Europe  is  the  rule  of primogeniture that  is  to  say,  all  the  property  of  the  deceased  goes  to  the  eldest  son  and  all  the  other  children  are  totally  deprived  of  it.  Moreover,  in  certain  places,  a  man  can,  if  he  so  wishes,  dispose  of  his  whole  property  by  will  to  any  person,  thus  depriving  even  his  male  offspring  of  a  share  in  the  inheritance.  As  a result  of  this  system,  wealth  gets  concentrated  instead  of  being  circulated.  On the  other  hand,  according  to  the  Hindu  code,  the  male  members  of  the  family  jointly  inherit  the  property,  and  the  females  are  totally  excluded  from inheritance.  This  is  an  obvious  injustice  to  women.  Moreover,  the  sphere  of  the circulation  of  wealth  is  even  here  narrower  than  what  it  is  under  the  Islâmic  system.

On  the  contrary,  the  system  of  dividing  inheritance  laid  down  by  Islâm  does  away  with  all  these  evils.  The  characteristics  peculiar  to  this  Islâmic  system  are as  follows:

(a)  A  long  list  of  inheritors  has  been  prescribed  in  accordance  with  the  degrees of  relationship,  because  of  which  the  inherited  wealth  gets  a  very  wide  circulation.  It  should  be  noticed  here  that,  in  order  to  give  a  wide  circulation  to wealth,  it  could  be  as  well  enjoined  that  the  whole  inheritance  should  be distributed  among  the  poor  or  be  deposited  in  the Bait-ul-Mâl (Public Exchequer).  But,  in  that  case,  everyone  would  have  tried  to  spend  all  his  wealth during  his  own  lifetime,  and  this  would  have  only  upset  the  economy.  It  is  for  this  reason  that  Islâm  has  laid  down  a  system  which  requires  that  the inheritance  should  be  divided  amongst  the  relatives  of  the  deceased  an  arrangement  which  should  be  the  natural  desire  of  the  owner  of  this  wealth.

(b)  As  against  all  the  other  systems  of  inheritance  in  the  world,  Islâm  has  given to  woman  also  the  right  to  inherit  property.  The  Holy  Qur’ân  says:

“There  is  a  share  for  men  from  what  is  left  by  parents  and  kinsmen,  and  there  is a  share  for  women  from  what  is  left  by  parents  and  kinsmen,  whether  it  be  little or  much and  it  is  a  determinate  share.”

(c)  The  deceased  has  not  been  given  the  prerogative  to  deprive  a  legal  heir  of  his or  her  share,  nor  to  make  any  kind  of  modification  in  the  prescribed  share  of  any  heir.  This  injunction  puts  a  complete  end  to  the  possibility  of  a  concentration  of wealth  resulting  from  inheritance.  The  Holy  Qur’ân  says:

“You  do not  know  which  one  of  them, among  your  fathers  and  your  sons,  is  nearer  in  profit  to  you.  This  is  the  law  laid  down  by  Allâh.” (4:10)

(d)  No  distinction  has  been  made  among  children  on  the  basis  of  priority  of  birth.  An  equal  share  has  been  allotted  to  the  elder  and  the  younger.

(e)  It  has  been  forbidden  to  make  a  bequest  in  favour  of  an  heir,  in  addition  to the  prescribed  share.  Thus,  no  heir  can  receive  anything  from  the  estate  of  the  deceased  over  and  above  his  or  her  own  share  of  the  inheritance.

(f)  A  part  of  the  property  can  be  bequeathed  to  one  who  may  not  be  an  heir.  This also  helps  in  the  circulation  of  wealth,  for  a  part  of  the  property  is  given  away  as legacy  before  the  sharing  of  inheritance  takes  place.

(g)  But  a  testator  cannot  dispose  of  all  his  property  by  will.  He  is  allowed  to  bequeath  up  to  one  third  of  his  property,  and  has  no  legal  right  to  exceed  this  limit.  This  injunction  thus  serves  to  avoid  that  danger  of  the  concentration  of  wealth  which would  arise  if  a  man  were  allowed  to  dispose  of  all  his  property by  will.  At  the  same  time,  it  also  safeguards  the  rights  of  the  near  kindred.

(g)  Khirâj  and  Jizyah  

Beside  the  above  categories,  there  are  two  more  which  require  the owners  of  wealth  to  pay  a  part  of  it  to  the  government  of  the  country- one  is “Khirâj”  (tribute)  and  the  other  is  “Jizyah.”

Khirâj  is  a  kind  of  levy  on  land  which  is  imposed  only  on  those  lands  which  come  under  the  category  of  Khirâji according  to  the  expositions  of  the  Fiqh,  and  the  government  can  spend  it  on  community  projects.  Jizyah,  on  the  other  hand,  is  received  from  those  non-Muslims  who  are  citizens  of  an  Islâmic  state  and  the protection  of  whose  life,  property,  and  honor  is  the  responsibility  of  the  state, and  also  from  those  non-Muslim  states  with  which  peace  has  been  made  on  the  condition  of  their  paying  the  Jizyah.  This  sum  as  well  is  to  be  spent  by  the  state  on  projects  of  collective  unity.

The  secondary  categories  of  the  distribution  of  wealth  outlined  above  are  only  those  in  which  it  has  been  enjoined  upon  the  primary  owners  of  wealth  to  spend  a  part  of  it  as  a  matter  of  individual  responsibility.  Besides  these  categories, there  are,  in  the  Qur’ân  and  the  Sunnah,  exhortations  to  spend  wealth  on  the  poor  and  the  helpless  and  for  the  collective  good  of  the  Muslims.  Says  the  Holy Qur’ân:

“They  ask  you  as  to  what  they  should  spend.  Say  ‘What  is  left  over.’” (2:219)

This  verse  makes  it  clear  that  what  is  commendable  in  the  eyes  of  Allâh  is  that  a  man should  not  confine  himself  to  spending  only  as  much  as  he  is  under  an  obligation  to  spend,  but  should  consider  it  to  be  a  great  blessing  for  himself  to  give  everything  that  exceeds  his  own  needs  to  those  members  of  his  society  who are  destitute  of  wealth.  The  Holy  Qur’ân  and  the  Traditions  of  the  Prophet  ( are  full  of  exhortations  on  the  subject  of  “spending  in  the  way  of  Allâh.”

The Eradication of Beggary  as  a Profession

The  measures  adopted  for  giving  the  weaker  members  of  society  the  right  to have  a  share  in  the  wealth  of  the  rich  were  at  the  same  time  likely  to  produce  another  evil  in  society – that  this  section  of  society  might  become  parasitical,  and  live  as  a  permanent  burden  on  society.  In  order  to  check  this  tendency,  the  Shariah  has  subjected  these  people  as  well  to  certain  special  regulations:

(i)  A  man  who  is  healthy  and  physically  fit  has  not  been  given  the  right  to  beg, except  under  special  circumstances.  According  to  the  Holy  Qur’ân,  the commendable  quality  of  the  genuine  “Fuqarâ”  (beggars)  is  that:

“They  do  not  beg  of  men  importunately.” (2:273)

(ii)  The  man  who  has  the  wherewithal  for  a  day  has  been  forbidden  to  beg.

(iii)  A  tradition  of  the  Holy  Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  condemns  begging  as  a  humiliation.

(iv)  The  man  who  possesses  wealth  up  to  the  prescribed  quantity  has  been  forbidden  to  accept  charity  even  without  begging.

(v)  The  poor  and  the  helpless  have  been  persuaded  to  shun  charity,  to  earn  their  livelihood through  their  labor  as  far  as  possible,  and  to  look  upon  hard  work  as  noble.

(vi)  Those  who  possess  wealth  have  been  admonished  that  it  is  not  enough  merely  to  set  apart  a  sum  of  money  for  charity – they  are  also  responsible  for seeking  out  those  who  are  really  needy  and  thus  genuinely  entitled  to  charity, and  for  distributing  it  among  them.

(vii)  Through  the  department  of  moral  censorship,  provision  has  been  made  for the  eraditation  of  beggary.

In  consequence  of  the  healthy  system  of  the  distribution  of  wealth  which  Islâm  has  instituted  by  means  of  these  injunctions,  our  history  offers  instances  of  a state  of  society  where  one  sought  in  vain  for  a  man  who  would  accept  charity.


These  are  only  some  of  the  salient  features  of  the  Islâmic  system  of  the  distribution  of  wealth.  In  this  short  article,  we  have  not  been  able  to  do  more  than  to  show  a  glimpse  of  this  system.  But  we  hope  that  these  scanty  observations  must  have  made  it  clear  how  the  Islâmic  economy  differs  from  Capitalism  and  Socialism  both,  and  what  its  fundamental  characteristics  are.

Demolishing Atabek Shukurov’s satanic opinion of Permissibility of Bank Riba/Interest – Loans

[Majlisul Ulama]




In  this  era  in  close  proximity  to  Qiyaamah,  the  world abounds  with  juhala  and  mudhilleen  who  pose  as ‘authorities’  of  the  Shariah  when  in  reality  they  grope  and grovel  in  a  quagmire  of  jahaalat.  One  such  jaahil  whose articles  and  stupid  ‘fatwas’  are  loaded  with  hogwash  and nafsaani  flotsam,  is  one  Atabek  Shukurov  who  has  set himself  up  as  an  ‘authority’  of  the  Hanafi  Math-hab  whilst he  dwells  in  a  mire  of  jahl-e-murakkab.

Some  of  the  flotsam  ‘fatwas’  of  this  mudhil  have  crossed our  path.  Insha-Allah,  we  shall  respond  in  detail  in refutation  of  the  copro-jahl  with  which  his  ‘fatwas’  of  jahl are  besmirched.  It  is  mentioned  in  the  Hadith  that  in  times close  to  the  approach  of  Qiyaamah,  there  will  be shayaateen  masquerading  as  human  beings.  They  will deliver  lectures,  give  fatwas  and  even  recite  the  Qur’aan Majeed  right  inside  the  Musjid  to  lure  and  ensnare Muslims  into  their  den  of  Imaani  destruction.  It  appears that  this  Atabek  character  is  one  of  those  shayaateeni mudhilleen  predicted  in  the  Ahaadith.

This  jaahil  has  written  considerable  drivel  and  hogwash  in his  stupid  ‘fatwas’  on  the  issues  of  mortgages, homosexuality,  smoking,  etc.  If  Allah  Ta’ala  grants  us  the taufeeq,  we  shall  demolish  all  the  rubbish  which  this  latest mudhil  has  excreted  in  his  ‘fatwas’  which  are  the  coproeffects  of  his  jahl-e-murakkab.

In  brief,  we  apprize  the  Ummah  of  the  Haqq  of  the  masaa’il  which  the  mudhil  coprocreep  has  convoluted  and corrupted  with  his  jahaalat  which  maybe  deliberate  and designed  to  further  the  scheme  of  Iblees  in  his  mission  of undermining  and  destroying  Islam.

Know  and  understand  well  that  all  bank  loans  are interest-bearing.  There  is  no  type  of  loan  given  by  a bank  which  is  free  of  interest/riba.  Atabek’s  laborious and  abortive  attempt  to  ‘prove’  that  bank  interest  is not  Riba,  is  the  effect  of  shaitaan  having  gripped  his brains.  Just  as  the  mushrikeen  of  Arabia  would  say: “Trade  is  like  Riba.”,  hence  it  should  be  halaal,  so  too, does  this  agent  of  Iblees,  Atabek  say:  “Bank  interest  is tawkeel.”  This  agent  of  shaitaan  is  at  war  with  Allah and  His  Rasool,  for  the  Qur’aan  Majeed  issues  the following  ultimatum  of  war:  

“…If  you  do  not  desist  (from  devouring  riba),  then  take notice  of  WAR  from  Allah  and  His  Rasool.”

By  no  stretch  of  Imaani  logic  and  Fiqhi  logic  can  such clear-cut  Riba charged  by  banks,  ever  be  interpreted  to mean  anything  other  than  Riba.  Therefore,  all  bank  loans are  haraam.  All  such  loans  are  encumbered  with interest  which  no  brand  of  interpretation  can  ever cancel.

Homosexuality  is  HARAAM.  Homosexuals  are  worse than  adulterers.  Islam  prescribes  the  severest  punishment for  homosexuals. If  homosexuality  is  proved  in  the  court of  the  Qaadhi,  even  the  death  penalty  may  be  applicable. Atabek’s  article  is  designed  to  placate  the  palates  of  his western  kuffaar  masters  whom  he  is  bootlicking.

Smoking breaks the fast. The arguments in negation of this mas’alah are baseless. Insha-Allah, a detailed response shall be forthcoming for the khuraafaat (drivel and trash) which Atabek has expectorated.  The  present article is a refutation of his  stupid mortgage  expectoration, rather nafsaani excretion.

Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:

Verily, I fear for my Ummah the aimmah mudhilleen.”

This Atabek is from amongst the Mudhilleen mentioned in this Hadith.



A  sciolist  deviate,  one  Atabek  Shukurov,  in  the  U.K., posing  as  a  Hanafi  authority,  has  issued  a  corrupt,  baatil, stupid  ‘fatwa’  proclaiming  Riba  to  be  halaal.  Camouflaging  Riba  with  the  epithet  of  ‘mortgage’,  and employing  skulduggery  and  chicanery  to  convolute  Qardh into  Tawkeel,  the  deviate  jaahil  has  confirmed  that  he  is among  the  signs  of  Qiyaamah  predicted  by  Rasulullah (Sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  who  had  mentioned  that  in times  in  proximity  to  Qiyaamah,  people  from  his  Ummah will  make  liquor  halaal  by  the  trick  of  nomenclature. Fanciful  names  will  be  coined  for  the  intoxicating  drinks to  render  it  halaal.

This  Hadith  of  Rasulullah  (Sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  has the  status  of  a  principle,  and  it  is  not  restricted  to  liquor.  It applies  to  all  haraam  practices  and  acts  which  are legalized  and  halaalized  by  means  of  fanciful  names  and fallacious  interpretations.  Thus, Tasweer  (pictures  of animate  objects)  is  opined  to  be  halaal  by  describing  it  as reflection,  digital  picture,  television  picture,  video, etc.

Riba  is  halaalized  by  dubbing  it  profit,  dividend  and  now ‘mortgage’  by  this  jaahil  deviate  whose  jahaalat conspicuously  renders  him  person’  non-grata  in  terms  of the  Shariah.  This  is  the  era  in  which  the  juhhaal  such  as Atabek,  preponderate.  There  are  numerous  such  ‘shaykhs’ of  deviation  prowling  around  the  world  executing  the dictates of Iblees and undermining the Divine Shariah

Atabek,  setting  himself  up  as  a  Hanafi  authority,  has stupidly  and  abortively  attempted  to  convince  Muslims that  in  the  acquisition  of  a  bank  loan,  the  evil  of  Riba  is not  involved.  Bank  loans  according  to  this  Ghabi  ‘shaykh’ are  not  interest-bearing.  His  jahl  is  indeed  shockingly lamentable.  He  truly    belongs  to  that  category  of  jaahil  ‘scholars’  who  gather  firewood  in  the  dark  on  an  intensely dark  night  without  knowing  if  his  hands  are  falling  on excreta  or  a  poisonous  snake.  Such  a  jaahil  ‘scholar’  is described  as  Haatibul  Lail  (one  who  gathers  firewood  in the  darkness  of  the  night).

Before  we  commence  with  our  detailed  refutation  of  his stupid  arguments  which  are  the  products  of  jahl  murakkab   (compound  ignorance),  we  present  this  brief  synopsis  for the  guidance  of  laymen  who    may  not  fully  understand  the academic  nature  of  the  refutation,  or  who  may  find technical  details  quite  boring.  This  synopsis  is  for  the guidance  of  laymen,  and  to  prevent  them  from  indulgence in  one  of  the  worst  sins  –  the  sin  of  Riba  which  in  one Hadith  is  described  as  a  conglomeration  of  more  than  70 major  sins,  the  lightest  of  which  is  like  committing adultery  with  one’s  own  mother.

Despite  the  extreme  danger  of  Riba  and  Allah’s abhorrence  for  it,  and  Allah’s  declaration  of  war  against those  who  indulge  in  Riba,  this  deviate  jaahil  deemed  it appropriate  to  recklessly  issue  a  licence  for  indulging  in Riba  thereby  embarking  on  a  satanic  mission  of  ruining the  Imaan  of  the  ignorant  and  unwary.

Understand  well  that  the  transaction  between  the  bank  and a  man  who  purchases  a  property  with  the  money  advanced by  the  bank  is  a  pure  interest-bearing  loan.  The  fanciful and  stupid  mental  gymnastics  in  which  the  Ghabi  ‘scholar’ engages  in  his  stupid  attempt  to  halaalize  Riba  by  dubbing the  transaction  ‘Tawkeel’,  is  unadulterated  haraam skulduggery.  No  one  should  be  fooled  and  befuddled  by the  utterly  fallacious  ‘fatwa’  of  Mr. Atabek  Shukurov  who has  clearly  demonstrated  that  as  far  as  the  Shariah  is concerned,  he  is  a  jaahil  and  a  mudhil.

No  amount  of  skulduggery  employing  Fiqhi  technicalities will  convince  a  sincere  Muslim  seeking  guidance  on  this issue,  that  the  money  which  a  bank  advances  for purchasing  a  property  is  a  not  a  loan  on  which  interest  has to  be  paid.  Rasulullah  (Sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  said: “Seek  a  fatwa  from  your  heart.”  Every  Muslim  has sufficient  intelligence  to  understand  what  in  reality  a  bank loan  is.  The  stupidity  of  Shukurov’s  arguments  proffered in  negation  of  bank-riba  defies  incredulity  and  is  an  insult to  intelligence.

In  both  terminology  and  factual  meaning,  a  bank  loan  is  an interest-bearing  loan,  and  no  amount  of  fanciful, technically  sounding  arguments  and  skulduggery  will appeal  to  the  pure  and  simple  intelligence  of  a  mind  which has  not  lost  its  equilibrium  in  the  wake  of  the  pursuit  of worldly  and  nafsaani  objectives.

For  practical  purposes,  Muslims  should  understand  that bank  loans  are  Riba-bearing    transactions,  the  reality  of which  is  not  changed  by  dubbing  such  loans  ‘mortgages’ and  the  gimmick  of  ‘tawkeel’.  Liquor  remains  haraam regardless  of  the  plethora  of  new  names  coined  for  the intoxicant.  Pictures  of  animate  objects  remain  haraam regardless  of  the  new  epithets  by  which  pictures  are  called. Riba  remains  haraam  regardless  of  the  nomenclature fabricated  by  the  commission  of  skulduggery  by  stupid ‘scholars’    and  paper  ‘mujtahids’  of  this  era  in  close proximity  to  Qiyaamah.

It  is  the  reality  of  the  transaction  which  is  the  determinant. BANK LOANS ARE HARAAM.     


In  the  introduction  of  his  garbage  permissibility  of  Ribafatwa’,  which  he  abortively  seeks  to  halaalize  with  the ‘mortgage’  designation,  and  the  convoluted  ‘tawkeel’ fabrication,  the  deviate  ‘scholar’,  Atabek,  says  to  Hadhrat Mufti Taqi Sahib:

The  issue  of  purchasing  a  property  with  the  support  of a  bank  is  well-known  to  be  controversial  amongst  Muslim academics.  It  is  likewise  well  known  that  most  of  the scholars  consider  certain  types  of  purchasing  a  house through  the  banks  to  be  prohibited.”

In  fact  all  the  Ulama  –  genuine  Ulama  –  are  unanimous  in the  fatwa  of  prohibition.  Buying  property  via  the conventional  capitalist  riba  banks  is  haraam.  There  is  no Aalim  who  would  dare  to  say  that  riba  is  halaal,  and  a bank  loan  with  the  encumbrance  of  interest  is  halaal.  Only deviates  of  Atabek’s  ilk  –  the  modernist,  suit  and  tie ‘scholars’ of  ghabaawah  proffer  the  view  of permissibility.  But  their  stupid  ‘fatwas’  are  devoid  of Shar’i  substance.  Even  the  products  offered  by  the  so-called  ‘islamic’  banks  are  contaminated  with  riba,  and most  of  their  deals  are  faasid  and  baatil.

In  describing  the  method  of  the  bank’s  operation  when granting  a  loan,  the  deviate  ‘scholar’  acknowledges  that the  prospective  buyer  of  a  property  “borrows”  money  from the  bank,  and  the  bank  “lends”  him  the  money,  then  with this  money  borrowed  from  the  bank,  he  buys  the  property, and  thereafter  the  borrower  has  to  repay  the  bank  in instalments  “with  some  profit”.  He  describes  the  gain acquired  by  the  bank  for  the  loan  given  as  “profit”,  thus bringing  himself  fully  within  the  purview  of  the  Hadith which  predicts  the  halaalization  of  haraam  by  means  of  the ruse  of  nomenclature.  Describing  pork  as  ‘mutton’  does not  halaalize  the  flesh  of  swine.  Similarly,  describing interest  as  ‘profit’  does  not  render  it  halaal.

According  to  the  Shariah,  a  loan  cannot  acquire  ‘profit’. The  hallucinated  ‘profit’  is  pure  riba.  Despite  accepting that  the  essential  constituents  of  the  transaction  are borrowing  and  lending,  the  jaahil  says  that  the  gain  is ‘profit’.  Making  a  mockery  of  his  own  intelligence,  he avers:  “The  interest  that  the  bank  will  be  charging  the buyer  depends  on  what  they  have  agreed.”  He  has  no alternative  but  to  call  a  spade  a  spade,  nevertheless,  he believes  that  this  haraam  interest  is  halaal.

Shooting  himself  in  the  leg,  he  is  constrained  to acknowledge:

As  times  passes  the  payable  amount  increases  with  it. For  example,  if  the  buyer  borrows  one  thousand  pounds and  pays  it  back  within  the  first  year,  then  he  has  to  pay one  thousand  and  thirty  pounds.  But  as  time  passes  the debt  increases,  because  the  interest  is  not  based  on  the initial  amount  that  is  borrowed  but  rather  on  the  amount which  is  due  each  year.  This  necessitates  the  payable amount  to  differ  based  on  the  time  of  the  payment.”

The  reality  of  Riba  is  conceded  in  this  statement  by  the deviate,  yet  he  stupidly  maintains  that  a  bank  loan  on which  interest  is  paid  is  not    a  riba  bearing  loan.


In  his  attempt  to  legalize  riba,  the  deviate  resorts  to ludicrous  mental  gymnastics,  juggling  with  the  concept  of Wikaalat  (Agency)  and  other  principles  which  have  no bearing  whatsoever  on  the  issue  of    bank  loans.  Thus,  he says:

The  initial  status  of  all  kinds    of  transactions  is  that they  are  permissible.  One  of  the  well-known  principles  of the  Hanafi  School  is  that  everything  beside  these  three  is permissible  by  default:  1.  Bloodshed  2.  Sexual  acts  3. Rituals  of  worship……….Based  on  this,  we  say,  everything is  permissible  unless  it  is    proven  to  not  permissible.”

Regarding  the  bank  loan  issue,  the  introduction  of  the aforementioned  principle  is  indeed  moronic.  

(1)  There  is  no  relationship  between  a  bank  loan encumbered  with  interest  and  this  principle.  The fundamental  constituents  of  borrowing,  lending  and paying  interest,  determine  the  Shariah’s  ruling.  A  clearcut  ruling  of  prohibition of  interest  cannot  be  submitted to  the  contentious  principle    formulated  by  opinion.

The  introduction  of  this  principle,  totally  unrelated  to  the  issue  of  bank  interest  loans,  is  a  silly  exercise  in  futility with  which  the      deviate  modernist  attempts  to  obfuscate  the  conspicuous  clarity  of  the  prohibition  of  bank  interest. However,  since  he  has  moronically  touched  on  this principle,  it  will  be  appropriate  to  discuss  and  refute  its applicability  to  the  issue  under  discussion.

Atabek  has  abortively    attempted  to  convey  the  idea  that   the  principle: “The  initial  (hukm)  regarding  things  is ibaahah  (permissibility).”,  is  the  standard  and  accepted  rule  of  the  Hanafi  Math-hab.  This  postulation  is  incorrect. This  is  the  principle  of  the  Jamhur  Shaafi’  Fuqaha,  not  of the  Hanafi  Fuqaha. The  following    elucidation  is presented  in  Al-Ashbaah  wan  Nathaair  ala  Math-habi  Abi Hanifah:

Is  the  Asl  (the  initial  hukm)  regarding  things  Ibaahah (permissibility)  until  such  time  that  there  is  a  daleel (evidence)  to  indicate  the  negation  of  ibaahah  –  and  this  is the  Math-hab  of  Ash-Shaafi’  (rahmatullah  alah)  –  or  is  it (i.e.  the  Asl)  Tahreem  (Prohibition)  until  there  is  daleel for  Ibaahah?  The  Shaafi’iyyah  attribute  this  (i.e.  the  Asl  is Tahreem) to  Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullah alayh).

In  Sharhul  Minaar  it  appears:  Things  are  initially  on Ibaahah  according  to  some  Hanafiyyah.  Among  them  is   Al-Karkhi.    Some  of  the  As-haab  of  Hadith  say:  The  Asl  in this is Al-Hazr (prohibition).

Our  As-haab  (the  Hanafi  Fuqaha)  say:  The  Asl  in  it  is Tawaqquf  (Non-Committal),  meaning  that   a  hukm  (of  the Shariah)  is  necessary  for  it,  but  we  are  not  aware  of  it  by means  of  intelligence.

In Hidaayah appears:  The Asl is Ibaahah.”

In  Al-Ash-Baah  wan  Nathaair  (Shaafi’),  the  Shaafi’ position is stated  as follows:

The  Asl  in  things  is  Ibaahah  until  there  is  daleel  to indicate  Tahreem  (Prohibition).  This  is  our  (i.e.  Shaafi) Math-hab.  According  to  Abu  Hanifah  the  Asl  is  Tahreem (Prohibition)  until  there  is  a  daleel  to  establish  Ibaahah (Permissibility).”
In  this  sphere  there  are  three  principles:  Ibaahah (Permissibility),  Tahreem  (Prohibition)  and  Tawaqquf (Non-Committal). Regarding  these  principles  formulated  on  the  basis  of  opinion,  there  is  considerable  difference  of opinion.  These  principles  are  not  cast  in  rock.  They  are  not Mansoos  on  the  basis  of  Wahi  nor  in  terms  of  the  Hadith.   Fuqaha  of  the  same  Math-hab    subscribe  to  differing opinions. Among  the  Hanafis  are  those  who  hold  the opinion  of  Ibaahah  while  others  of    the  Hanafi  Math-hab subscribe  to  the  Tahreem  view,  and      similar  is  the difference  in  the  other  Math-habs.

Furthermore,  these  principles    are  overridden  by  Shar’i Daleel.  They  will  operate  only  in  rare  cases  of  absolute absence  of  Shar’i  daleel.  There  is  also  no  strict  adherence to  these  principles  among  the  Fuqaha.  Consider  an  animal   such  as    the  giraffe (zaraafah).  The     Qur’aan  and Ahaadith  are  silent  regarding  the  permissibility  or prohibition  of  giraffe.  Those  who  subscribe  to  the  Ibaahah principle  opine  that  its  meat  is  halaal  while  those holding the  view  of  Tahreem  say  that  it  is  haraam.  Since  there  is no Shar’i  basis  for  proclaiming  giraffe  haraam,  the  holders of  the  Ibaahah  view  say  that  it  is  halaal.  On  the  other hand,    Imaam  Nawawi  and  Shiraazi  who  are  Shaafi’ authorities,  proclaim  giraffe  haraam  despite  the  Shaafi’ principle of Ibaahah

The  Hanafis  again,  despite  their  principle  of  Tahreem, proclaim  giraffe  to  be  halaal  since  there  is  no  Shar’i  daleel   for  saying  that  it  is  haraam.  From  this,  it  is  clear  that  the actual  determinant  is  Shar’i  daleel.  If  there  is  daleel  for Ibaahah,  the  ruling  will  be  permissibility. On  the contrary,  if  there  is  daleel  for  Tahreem,  the  fatwa  will  be on  hurmat.  Also  according  to  Imaam  Ahmad  Bin  Hambal (Rahmatullah  alayh),  giraffe  is  haraam  despite  the  Asl  of Ibaahah.

Although  the  principle  of  the  Shaafi’  Math-hab  is Ibaahah,  the  majority  of  the  Shaafi’  Fuqaha  have  refrained from  issuing  a  ruling  regarding  the  giraffe.  Neither  do they  say  that  it  is  halaal  nor  haraam  despite  their  Ibaahah   principle.  (Al-Ashbaah  wan  Nathaair  –  Shaafi’).  In  Al-Ashbaah  wan  Nathaair  of  Imaam  Jalaaluddin  Suyuti,  it  is   mentioned:   

The  majority  of  the  As-haab  (Shaafi’  Fuqaha)  have not entertained  this  issue  (of  the  giraffe)  at  all whatsoever,  neither  permissibility  nor  prohibition. Fataawa  Qaadhi  Husain  and  Imaam  Ghazaali  have explicitly  said  that  it  is  halaal……………

Ash-Shaikh has categorically  stated  in  At-Tanbeeh  that  it is  haraam.  In Sharhul  Muhazzab,  Consensus  (Ittifaaq)  is narrated  on  this.  And  so  too  has  Abul  Khattaab  of  the Hanaabilah    said.  No  one  from  the    Maalikiyyah  and  the Hanafiyyah  has  mentioned   it  (the  giraffe),  nevertheless, their  principles  dictate  it  being  halaal.”

Taqiyuddin  As-Subki  (Shaafi’)    mentions  in  his  Kitaab, Qadhaail Arab fi As-ilati Halab:

Shaikh  Abu  Is-haaq  has    categorically  stated  in  At-Tanbeeh  that   the  giraffe  is  haraam……..In  Sharhul Muhazzab,  Nawawi  has  narrated    Ittifaaq  (Consensus)  on the  giraffe’s  prohibition.

In  the  Kitaab,  Asnal  Mataalib  fi  Sharhi  Raudhit  Taalib  it appears as follows:

He  says  in  Al-Majmoo’  that  verily, the  giraffe  is haraam  without  any  difference  of  opinion.”  This  is  despite the  Ibaahah  principle  on  the  basis  of  which  other  Shaafi’ Fuqaha  proclaim  it  to  be  halaal.  There  exists  considerable  difference  and  argument  and conflicting  dalaa-il  in  the  Shaafi’  Math-hab  regarding  the permissibility  or  prohibition  of  the  giraffe  despite  the Jamhur’s  principle  of  Ibaahah

On  the  other  hand,  despite the  Tahreem  principle  of  the  Ahnaaf,  the  Hanafi  Fuqaha     say  that  giraffe  is  halaal.  It  should  be  quite  evident  that  the determinant  is  Shar’i  daleel.    

Consider  the  example  of  the  whale.  In  terms  of  the  Shaafi’ principle,  Ibaahah  applies,  and  not  only  to  the  whale,  but to  all  sea  animals.  However,  according  to  the  Ahnaaf, whale  and  all  sea  animals  are  haraam  despite  a  semblance of  Shar’i  daleel.  Although  a  Hadith    leads  to  the  possible conclusion  of  the  sea  animal  being  a  whale,  the  Hanafi Fuqaha  do  not  accept  that  the  sea  animal  described  in  the Hadith  was  a  whale,  hence  they  maintain  its  prohibition. They  have  their  own  Shar’i  dalaa-il  for  the  hurmat  of  the whale  and  all  sea  animals.  Thus,  the  emphasis  is  on Tahreem  by the Ahnaaf.

What  is  clear  from  the  considerable  difference,  conflict and  ambiguity  in  these  principles  is  that  the  determinant  is Shar’i Daleel which restricts and overrides  the principles.     

(2)  The  claim  that  this  principle  applies  to  trade transactions  is  erroneous. It  applies  to  existing  aspects  of creation  on  which  the  Shariah  is  silent,  e.g.  animals, plants,  a  water  channel  whose  ownership  is  unknown,  i.e. whether  it  is  private  property  or  not,  and  any  existent  for which  there  is  no  ruling  provided  by  the  Qur’aan  or Hadith.

It  is  stupid  and  baatil  to  apply  the  principle  of  Ibaahah  to  a transaction  or   even  a  tangible  substance  merely  because their  names  cannot  be  found  in  the  Nusoos.  It  may  not  be said  that  vodka  and  whisky  are  halaal  on  the  basis  of    the principle  of  Ibaahah.  It  may  not  be  said  that  pudding  is halaal  on  the  basis  of  this  principle  of  permissibility  simply  because  the  name,  ‘pudding’    does  not  exist  in the  Qur’aan  or  Hadith.  The  imperative  need  will  be  to examine  and  establish  what  exactly  are  the   ingredients and  constituents  of  these  substances.  If  the  ingredients  are haraam  or  the  effect  of  the  halaal  ingredients  is  haraam  such  as  intoxication, then  the  Shar’i  daleel  for  Tahreem  is confirmed.    

Similarly, mortgages  cannot  be    said  to  be  halaal  on  the basis  of  the  Ibaahah  principle  simply  because  this  term  is new  and    cannot  be  located  in  the  Nusoos.  The  incumbent   need    is  to  examine    and  establish    what  mortgages  are  all about.  The  introduction  of  the  Ibaahah  principle  in  this regard  demonstrates  the  jahaalat  of  Atabek.  The  simple issue  in  this  regard  is  that  a  bank  loan  is  encumbered  with interest/riba,  hence  it  is  Haraam.  There  is  absolutely  no need  for  the  invocation  of  any  one  of  the  three  principles to  determine    the  Shariah’s  verdict  on  bank-interest.  It  is   glaringly  Riba.  Only  brains  welded  by  stupidity  and aggravated  by  western  liberalism  and  a  bootlicking attitude,  understand  otherwise.

The  mudhaarabah  transaction  of  the  so-called  islamic banks    cannot  be  proclaimed  halaal  on  the  basis  of  the Ibaahah  principle,  and  simply  because  it  has  an  Islamic designation.  The  need  is  to  examine  the  constituents of the  contract  to  establish  the  Shar’i  ruling.

A  plant,  the  properties  of  which  are  unknown  –  whether beneficial  or  poisonous  –  shall  not  be  proclaimed  halaal or  haraam  simply  on  the  basis  of  the  principles  of Ibaahah  and  Tahreem.  The  demand  is  for  establishing the  ruling  on  the  basis  of  Shar’i  daleel.  If  examination confirms  that  the  plant  is  poisonous,  then  obviously  the verdict  will  be  Tahreem.  If  it  is  not  harmful  or  poisonous, the  ruling  will  be  Ibaahah.

It  will  indeed  be  a  rarity  for  the  total  absence  of  Shar’i daleel  to  act  as  the  determinant.  In  such  rare  cases, Tawaqquf  will  apply,  thus  rendering  the  issue  to  the Mushtabah  realm.  As  far  as  bank  loans  are  concerned, there  is  absolutely  no  ambiguity  in    their  nature.  A  bank loan is  pronounced  haraam  by  the  categorical  Nusoos  of the  Qur’aan  and  Hadith.  Only  a  stupid  deviate  having  no affinity  with  the  Shariah  will  muster  the  stupid  audacity to  invoke  the  principle  of  Ibaahah  for  the  determination  of a  ruling  for  a  bank  loan  which  is  encumbered  with  riba. The  principle  may  not  be  used  in  conflict  with  a  mansoos alayh law.

The  unnecessary  and  stupid  introduction  of  the  Ibaahah principle  which  is  totally  unrelated  to   bank  interest/riba, has constrained this digression.  

Exhibiting his skulduggery, the  deviate Atabek says:

Coming  back  to  the  issue  of  mortgage,  I  say  it  cannot be  Riba,  because  the  bank  does  not  ‘lend’  the  money  as per  Shariah  definition  of  lending  or  debt.  That  is  because the  buyer  is  not  free  to  do  with  the  money  whatever  he wants.  The  bank  won’t  allow  him  to  do  anything  with  it except  buying  that  exact  house  which  he  has  agreed  with the bank to buy.  This is not called ’debt’”

Every  person  in  his  sane  senses  will  understand  that  this  is  a  lot  of  hogwash  and  bunkum.  By  what  stretch  of  logic –  kuffaar  or  Islamic  –    does  this  man  interpret   a straightforward,  simple  loan    to  be  some  other  transaction other  than  debt?  He  has  absolutely  not  even  a  single  valid Shar’i  argument  to  bolster  his  rubbish  view.  The  only stupid  and  absurd  ‘daleel’  he  proffers  is  that  the  bank advances  the  loan  for  a  specific  purpose,  namely,  to purchase  only  a  property  and  nothing  else.  There  is  no authority   in  the  Shariah  for  bolstering  this  stupid averment.  It  is  absurd  both  in  terms  of  the  Shariah  and   even  kuffaar  economical  laws.  In fact,  this  stupidity  is repulsive to  intelligence.

The  maximum  that  could  be  said  about  the  bank’s stipulated  condition  is  that  it  is  a  faasid/baatil  shart  –  a baseless  and  invalid  condition.  It  is  nothing  more  than  this.   Whilst  we  do  not  accept  that  this  specific  condition  in  the context  is  unlawful,  for  the  purpose  of  this  discussion  we   shall  assume  that  the    stipulation  by  the  bank  which  is  not Islamically  permissible,    is  invalid.  Now  on  what  Shar’i authority  does  the  deviate  Atabek  base  his  stupid conclusion  of  the  reality  of    the  loan  being  cancelled  in consequence  of  the  invalid    condition?  There  is  absolutely no  authority  for  his  stupid  opinion  sucked  out  from  his nafs  and  constrained  by  modernity.

Just  as  in   the  case  of  Hibah  (Gift),  a  faasid  shart automatically  falling  away  leaving  the  Hibah  valid  and lawful,  so  too  is  it  with  Qardh  (loan  given).  If  a  man making  a  gift,  says: “This  car  is  a  gift  for  you  on condition  that  you  do  not  sell  it.”,  the  gift  is  valid  whilst the  faasid  condition  falls  away.  Similarly,  if  a  loan  is given  with  the  condition  that  the  borrower  should  use  it for  only  a  specific  purpose,  then    whilst  the  condition  is  invalid,  the  loan/debt  remains  valid  Qardh.  The  Fuqaha state in this regard:

Stipulation  of  time  (for  repayment)  is  not  binding  in Qardh  regardless  of  it  being  stipulated  as  a  condition  in the  transaction  or   delayed  to    after  the  transaction.”

The  reason  for  this  is:  “Verily,  Qardh  is    an  act  of Tabarru’ (kindness, favour).”

Qardh  belongs  to  the  class  of  transactions  which  are Tabarru’  (Kindness/Favour).  These  transactions  remain valid  despite  the  faasid  conditions  which  automatically fall  away,  leaving  the  transaction  valid.

If  the  haraam  condition  of  interest  is  stipulated,  the  capital sum  only  is  repayable.  The  haraam  stipulation  does  not cancel  the  reality  of    Qardh.  The  loan  remains  a  loan.

The  Rukn  of  Qardh  is  Ijaab  and  Qubool  according  to Imaam  Abu  Hanifah  and  Imaam  Muhammad.  According to  Imaam  Abu  Yusuf  it  is  only  Ijaab.  The  existence  of  the arkaan  suffices  for  the  validity    of  Qardh  which  remains unaffected  by  the  addition  of  a  faasid  shart.  Acts  of Tabarru’  such  as Hibah  (gifts),  Sadqah  (charity),  Nikah (marriage),  Khula’,  and  the  like  are  all  acts  of  Tabarru’ which  are  not  invalidated  by  faasid  shurootQardh  is  in the  same  category.

Even  a  Mudhaarabah  contract  encumbered  by  a  baatil shart,  remains  valid  whilst  the  invalid  condition  falls away.  Imaam  Muhammad  said:    “If  a  man  gives  a thousand  dirhams  for  conducting  Mudhaarabah  on  a  50-50  basis  profit-sharing  with  the  condition  that   the Mudhaarib  gives  his   land  to  the  Rabbul  Maal  to  enable him  to    cultivate  it  for  a  year  or  his  house  so  that  he  (the Rabbul  Maal)  may  live  in  it  for  a  year,  then  the  shart  is baatil,  and  the  Mudhaarabah  is  valid.”

Even  the  contract  of  Shirkat  (Partnership),  like Mudhaarabah,  is  not  a  Tabarru’  transaction.  Nevertheless, it remains  valid  despite  the  faasid  shart  which automatically  falls  away.  Only  if  the  conditions  extricate the  mudhaarabah  and  shirkat    transactions  from  their reality  by  negating  the  fundamental  constituent  which  is partnership  in  the  profit,  will  it  be  said  that  the   contract  is no  longer  what  it  was  intended  to  be,  hence  invalid.

It  should  now  be  quite  obvious  that  the  deviate  jaahil  has absolutely  not  a  single   viable    argument  for  substantiating his  stupid  and  fallacious  postulate  of   a  bank  loan  not  being  a  loan  (Qardh).  There  is  neither  Shar’i  basis  for  his  baatil  claim,  nor  a  logical  basis.

The  coprocreep  further  avers:   

Thus,  debt  is  the borrowing  of  an  item  from  someone  for  a  certain  period  of time  under  the  condition  of  returning  it  back.  The ownership  of  the  borrowed  item  will  be  transferred  to  the person  who  is  taking  it,  which  necessitates  that  he  is  free to  do  with  it  as  he  wants  —  the  person  who  is  lending  it out  has  no  right  to  dictate  what  he  can  and  cannot  do  with it.”

This  averment  is  defective  and  in  no  way  whatsoever   alters  the  reality  of  Qardh.  As  explained  above,  the  loan remains  a  loan  regardless  of  the  stipulation  of  any  faasid condition  by  the  lender,  the  bank  in  this  case.  In  the  above statement,  the  deviate  has  confused  two  different  types  of debt,  namely,  Qardh  and  DainQardh  is  a  loan  while Dain  is  a  debt  incurred  by  a  trade  transaction  such  as buying  an  item  on  credit.  In  Dain  it  is  incumbent  to   stipulate  the  time  of  payment.  In  Qardh,  no  time  factor applies.  It  is  not  permissible  to  fix  the  time  of  repayment. The  condition  of  a  time  frame  is  baatil  in  relation  to Qardh.  The  creditor  of  the  loan  has  the  right  to  demand repayment  at  any  time  regardless  of  whether  a  time  was  fixed  for  repayment.  The  “certain  period”  mentioned  by Atabek  is  baseless  and  does  not  apply  to  Qardh.  He needs  to  re-visit,  in  fact  re-study,  the  Kutub  of  Fiqh.  It  is clear  that  he  is  ignorant  of  many  Fiqhi  issues,  hence  he blurts  out  flotsam  and  jetsam  thereby    advertising  his  jahl.  Yet,  this  copro-jaahil,  shamelessly    insults  the   very  senior Ulama  of  Deoband.  Only  a  fool  is  ignorant  of  the  Stars  of Uloom  and  Taqwa  produced  by  Darul  Uloom  Deoband  in its  heyday.

The  Hanafi  Fuqaha  state:

  “Verily,  Qardh  is  like  Aariyah (an  item  given  on  loan).  Stipulation  of   a  time  (for returning  the  item)  is  not  incumbent  in  loaned  items.” 

This also  debunks  the  copro-jaahil’s  assertion,  viz.  “for  a certain  period  of  time”.  The  stipulation  of   time  of repayment   applies  to   the  debt  called  Dain,  not  to  Qardh.      

While  the  lender  has  the  right  to  utilize  the  loaned  money as  he  deems  appropriate,  the  stipulation  that  he  may  buy only  a  property  with  the  loan  in  no  way  whatsoever cancels  the  reality  and  nature  of  the  loan.  It  remains Qardh.  The  Kutub  of  Fiqh   are  explicit  in  this  regard.  But the  mudhil  is  ignorant  of  the  Kutub  although  he  has  set himself  up  as  an  expert  of  the  Hanafi  Math-hab  and  as  a mujtahid.  The  fellow  is  a  jaahil  paper  ‘mujtahid’  basking in  his  own  jahl-e-murakkab.  No  one   has  claimed  that  the lender  has  the  right  to  dictate  conditions.  The  issue  is  that the  loan  remains  Qardh  despite  the  dictation  of  the  lender. As  far  as  large  loans  are  concerned,  it  shall  be  shown later  that  there  is  a  need  for  the  bank  to  dictate  and advance  the  loan  for  only  a  specific  purpose.

Since  the  Qardh  remains  Qardh  despite  the  stipulation  of a  faasid  shart,  the  copro-jaahil  has  absolutely  no   basis  for  his  copro-interpretation  in  negation  of  the  reality  of  the loan  advanced  by  a  bank  –  a  loan  encumbered    with  Riba.            

The  jaahil  makes  a  big  issue    out  of  an  insignificant  factor  in  the  bank-loan.  He  maintains  that  the  borrower here  is  not  free  to  use  the  money  as  he    wishes.  Even  if  this  be  assumed  to  be  correct,  it  does  not  negate  the  reality of  the  loan  which  remains  Qardh  in  terms  of  the  Shariah. However,  the  factual  position  is  that  the  lender  is  free  to utilize  the  money  for  the  specific  purpose  for  which  he  has requested  the  loan.  He  approaches  the  bank    with  his  stated  wish  to  purchase  a  certain  property.  The  bank  does not  compel  him  to  buy  the  property  of  its  own  choice.  The lender  himself  selected  the  property  and  seeks  a  loan  to pay  the  price.  Thus,  the  bank  advances  him  the  loan  to purchase  what  he  had  selected  of  his  own  free  will.

If  a  lender  advances  a  loan  on  condition that  the  money   may  not  be  used  for  gambling,  squandering  on  haraam  and the  like,  the  reality  of  the  Qardh  is  not  negated.  Similarly, to  safeguard  its  interests,  the  bank  will  agree  to  the  loan   only  if  repayment  is  assured.  Thus,  if  the  borrower  seeks a  loan  of  a  million  pounds  for  a  property  whose  value  is  100,000  pounds,  the  bank  is    entitled  to  refuse,  and  to stipulate  that   only  such  a  property  be  purchased  which guarantees  the  loan.  In  safeguarding  its  interests,  the  bank is  not  dictating  to  the  lender  what  he  has  to  do  with  the money.  On  the  contrary,  it  is  the  borrower  who  approaches the  bank  for  a  loan  to  purchase  an  item  of  his  own  choice, not  of  the  bank’s  choice.  We  have  mentioned  this   fact   merely  to  highlight  the  stupidity  of  the  jaahil’s  averment. But  in  reality  this    issue  has  no  bearing  on  the  validity  of the  loan.  It  remains  a  valid  loan  regardless  of  the hallucinated dictation by the bank.  


Like  a  drowning  man  clutching  at  straws,  the  faasiq deviate  Atabek  desperately  proffers  the  hallucination  of  a bank  interest  bearing  loan  being  a  contract  of  Tawkeel (Agency). Not  even  a  layman  will  be  fooled  by  such  audacious  stupidity  which  asserts  that  pork  is  transformed  into  mutton  by    mere  imagination. In  presenting  his ludicrous postulate, he says:

The  different  topics  that  I  have  mentioned  necessitate that  a  mortgage  is  Tawkeel  and  not  a  debt  because  the scenario of a mortgage happens as follows

Customer  expresses  his  desire  to  buy  a  house  to  the  bank.

Bank  follows  its  procedure,  then  it  approves  the  buyer  to buy  the  house  on  behalf  of  the  bank  with  the  money  which he  gets  from  the  bank  by  cash  payment.

Then  he  buys  the  house  from  the  bank  by  instalments  over certain  period  of  time.  After  that  he  pays  back  that  money during that time period. 

This  is  the  practical  and  technical  explanation  of  a mortgage.  This  is  because  the  meaning  is  the  most important  thing  in  transactions  and  not  what  one  says  (i.e. it is about what you do and not what you say.”

Let  us  examine  this  hogwash.  The  ‘different  topics’ mentioned  by  the  copro-jaahil  in  no  way  whatever necessitate  that  a  bank  interest-bearing  loan  is  transformed into  Tawkeel  or  in  meaning  it  is  Tawkeel.  In  his disgorgement  of  ‘different  topics’,  he  has  merely  tried  to explain  the  meanings  of  Qardh  and  Tawkeel.  After explaining  the  technical  Fiqhi  meanings  of  these  two transactions,  he  arbitrarily  and  stupidly  without  Shar’i  basis  concludes  that  a  riba  loan  advanced  by  the  bank  is Tawkeel.  His  postulation  is  devoid  of  logical  content  and bereft  of  Shar’i  substance.  Furthermore,  his  corrupt theorizing  is  in  conflict  with  reality.

The  client,  i.e.  the  borrower,  does  not  approach  the  bank   to  purchase  a  house  from  the  bank,  for  the  bank  does  not own  a  house  for  sale  nor  is  the  bank  in  the  business  of buying  and  selling  properties.  Its  profession  is  to  lend money  to  borrowers  on  interest.  Only  a  moron  whose brains  have  been  convoluted  by  Iblees  will  contend   otherwise.  The  client  approaches  the  bank  for  a  loan  which the  bank  will  advance  only  if  he  is  creditworthy.  The procedure  which  the  bank  will  initiate  to    establish  the credit  worthiness  of  the  borrower  and  the  veracity  and viability  of    his  deal  with  the  owner  of  the  house  who  is the  actual  and  the  only  seller,  is  reasonable  and  absolutely necessary.      This  procedure  is  totally  unrelated  to  any  facet of  Tawkeel.  

The  deviate’s  claim  that  the  “bank  appoints  the  buyer  to buy  the  house  on  behalf  of  the  bank”,  is  an  absurd  LIE. Neither  practically  nor  technically  nor  logically  is  there any  veracity  in  this  baatil  claim  of  Atabek.    Furthermore, it  is  blatantly  false  to  say  that  the  bank  gives  the  cash directly  into  the  hands  of  the  borrower.  The  reality  is  that by  Iqtidhaaun  Nass  the  borrower  appoints  the  bank  as  his Wakeel  to  pay  his  debt  owing  to  the  owner  of  the  house who  is  the  true  and  the  real  seller  who  sells  the  property  to the  one  who  borrows  the  money  from  the  bank.  The  bank does  not  purchase  the  property  from  the  seller  as  the  jaahil alleges.  The  bank  merely  makes  payment  on  behalf  of  the borrower  who  is  the  true  and  the  real  buyer.

The  Fuqaha  state:    The  determinant  is  the  actual  meaning (the  reality  of  the  transaction),  not    the  words  (used  to embellish  a  haraam  transaction  for  rendering  it  halaal).  Thus,  if  interest  is  described  as  a  gift,  dividend,  profit, etc.,  it  will  not  change  the  reality.  It  remains  haraam  riba. Whilst  the  copro-jaahil  has  made  reference  to  this principle,  he  has  abortively  attempted  to  apply  it  in  a convoluted  manner  to  legalize  a  bank  interest-bearing loan.  The  true  meaning  of  the  deal  between  a  borrower and  the  bank  is  a  riba  loan.  No  amount  of  skulduggery  can change  this  reality.  Practically,  technically  and  logically the  bank  is  the  lender  and  not  the  buyer  nor  is  the borrower  the  Wakeel  to  buy  a  house  for  the  bank.  The reality  is  the  opposite,  namely,  the  bank  is  the  borrower’s Wakeel to  pay  his  debt  with  the  money  which  he  has borrowed  from  the  bank.
Regarding  the  Tawkeel  dimension,  the  Faasiq  has  placed the  cart  before  the  horse  by  contending  that  the  borrower is  the  bank’s  Wakeel  bish-Shiraa’  (the  agent  to  purchase on  behalf  of  the  bank).  On  the  contrary,  the    bank  is  the Wakeel  of  the  borrower.  Prior  to  advancing  the  loan,  and even  before  the  house  has  been  purchased,  the  bank stipulates  its  interest  which  will  escalate  annually.  The purchase  price  is  paid  to  the  owner/seller  with  the borrowed  money  on  which  the  bank  fixes  its  rate  of interest.

The  plethora  of  faasid  conditions  with  which  all  bank contracts  and  agreements  are  encumbered  does  not  negate the  reality  of  Qardh.  It  does  not  transform  Qardh  into Tawkeel.  Only  juhala  possess  sufficient  stupidity  to  deny this  reality  and  claim  that  the  money  borrowed  from  a bank  is  by  way  of  Tawkeel.

Exhibiting  his  contumacious  jahaalah,  the  copro-jaahil avers:

Thus,  when  the  bank  says  to  the  customer:  ‘this  is  a debt  we  are  lending  you  so  that  you  can  buy  a  house,  and you  have  to  pay  it  back  to  us’,  this  statement  is  incorrect literally  but  yet  correct  by  Iqtidha.  That  is  because  the bank  doesn’t  give  the  ownership  of  the  money  to  the customer  –  the  bank  will  block  you  from  using  this  money for  anything  besides  buying  that  specific  house  –  and  that is not called lending but rather ‘tawkeel’“

Perhaps  the  baboons  in  the  mountains  will  swallow  this stupidity.  Firstly,  the  Faasiq    has  misapplied  the  principle of  Iqtidhaun  Nass   which  is  an  implicit  demand  of  a statement  not  stated  verbally,  but  is  implied.  Saying  that the  bank’s  categorical  statement  of  the  money  advanced being  a  debt  is  literally  incorrect,  but  by  Iqtidha  is  correct, is  an  absurdity  and  self-contradiction  which  portray  this man’s  ignorance  regarding  the  principles  of  Fiqh.

If  the  statement  of  the  bank  is  CORRECT  by  way  of Iqtidha,  it  logically  follows  that  the  bank’s  version  is correct  because  the  demand  of  Iqtidha  is  valid  and incumbent,  and  may  not  be  cancelled  by    verbal/literal statements  which  may  have  a  different  meaning.  The principle  in  transactions  is    that  the  determinant  is  the  true and  actual  meaning,  not  the  words.  Both  the  words  and meaning  of  the  bank  confirm  the  reality  of  Qardh.  Whilst there  is  no  need  for  Iqtidha  to  determine  the  reality  of  the bank’s  interest-bearing  loan,  the  Faasiq  has  shot  himself  in the  leg  by  stupidly  saying  that  the  bank’s  statement  is correct  by  Iqtidha’.  By  making  this  claim  he  has  entrapped himself  into  conceding  that  a  bank’s  loan  is  in  fact  Qardh regardless  of  his  stupid    howling  to  the  contrary.  Both principles,  namely  Ibaaratun  Nass  as  well    as  Iqtidhaaun Nass  (by  his  own  admission)  confirm  the  reality  of  the transaction  to  be  Qardh.  The  reality  precludes  the  idea  of the  bank  having  in  actual  fact  purchased  the  house.

It  has  already  been  explained  above  that  the  stipulation  of a  faasid  shart   does  not  negate  the  reality  of  Qardh.  We again  reiterate  that  payment  by  the  bank  to  the  owner  of the  house  who  sells  his  property  is  not  a  faasid  condition because  the  borrower  approached  the  bank  specifically for  the  purpose  of  acquiring  a  loan  to  pay  for  the  house which  he  intends  purchasing  from  Zaid.  Thus,  the  bank acts  as  the  borrower’s  agent  by  effecting  payment  to  the seller,  viz.  Zaid.  It  is  utterly  fallacious  and  stupid  to  claim that  a  loan  is  not  a  loan  simply  because  the  lender stipulates  that  the  money  may  be  used for  only  paying  the creditor  of  the  borrower.  The  bank  pays  the  seller  on  the instruction  of  the  borrower  to  whom  the  bank  loans  the money  repayable  with Riba.

Making another drivel claim, the Faasiq says:

This  is  not  any  type  of  riba,  because  the  bank  does  not give  away  the  money  to  the  customer.

This  is  rubbish. The  bank  in  reality  does  give  the  money to  the  borrower  to  use  for  the  specific  purpose  for  which he  has  approached  the  bank.  It  is  the  borrower  who  asks the  bank  to  pay  for  the  house  which  he  will  be  buying from  Zaid.  Thus,  the  bank  acts  as  the  borrower’s  Wakeel  to  effect  payment  on  his  behalf.  This  is  the  simple  reality and  nature  of  the  transaction  with  the  bank.

The  claim  that  the  borrower  acts  as  the  representative  of the  bank  to  buy  a  house  for  the  bank  and  that  he  buys  the house  from  the  bank  is  a  donkey  claim.  Perhaps  donkeys may  swallow  this  absurdity.    A  man  of  Fisq  given  to bootlicking  and  emulation  of    the  western  kuffaar  lacks   Fahm.  His  brains  are   encased  in  a  western  straitjacket, hence  he  conjectures  stupid  theories  to  halaalize  riba.  And,  according  to  the  Qur’aan  only  a  man  who  has  been driven  to  madness  by  the  touch  of  shaitaan  legalizes  riba and  claims  it  to  be  trade. The  Faasiq  illustrates  his  jahaalah  in  an  answer  to  a  critic where he says: “If  I  give  you  money  and  say  to  you:  ‘It  is    a  gift  to  your father,  but    you  have  to  buy    food  and  bring  it  to  me  by using  this  money.”,  What  is  it?  Is  it  a  gift  or  maybe  some type  of  ‘usury’  or  also    ‘dowry’?  Owner  of  the  money specifying  one  and  only  way  of  using    it  and  excluding everything else is called “Tawkeel”.  This  answer    confirms  that  this  Faasiq  copro-jaahil  lacks knowledge  of  even  basic  masaa-il.  He  sets  himself  up  as an  authority  of  the  Hanafi  Math-hab,  yet  he  is  egregiously ignorant  of  the  fact  that  in  the  example  he  has  cited  to silence  his  critic,  the  gift  remains  a  gift  (Hibah)  despite  the faasid  condition  which  simply  falls  away.  All  transactions of  Tabarru’  in  terms  of  the  Hanafi  Math-hab  remain  valid whilst  the  corrupt  conditions  automatically  fall  away.  On what  authority  does  this  jaahil  claim  that  the  Hibah  has been  transformed  into  Tawkeel  by  the  faasid  condition? He  has  absolutely  no  authority  since  he  blurts  out  trash from  his  nafs. In  his  superficial  exposition  of  Tawkeel,  the  Faasiq  sciolist avers:

The  rukn  of  wikala  is  anything  that  means  ‘offer  and accept’  –  even  indirectly  such  as  silence’.  So  the  real important  thing  is  to  express  that  a  person  is  appointing the second person as a representative.”

This  explanation  is  in  diametric  conflict  with  the  reality  of   the  relationship  between  the  bank  lender  and  the  borrower. There  is  not  even  the  slightest  hint  of  the  bank  appointing the  borrower  to  be  its    representative  to  purchase  a property  on  its  behalf.  Furthermore,  the  issue  of  being  the bank’s  wakeel  to  purchase  a  house  for  the  bank  is  the furthest  from  the  mind  of  the  borrower.  Thus,  there  is absolutely  no  expression    by  any  of  the  parties  which could  be  even  remotely  interpreted  to  mean   the  creation of  a  Wikaalat  contract.  The  conclusion  of  the  sciolist  is plain  skulduggery  and  fraud.  There  has  to  be  an  intention and  an  understanding,  for  that  will  be  the  reality  and  the determinant  in  trade  and  commerce  transactions.  But  the entire  contract  between  the  bank  and  the  buyer  of  the house,  from  beginning  to  end,  pertains  to  borrowing, lending and paying interest.


In  this  regard,  the  copro-jaahil  says:

As  for  the  price  not  being  fixed  but  differing  based  on  the time  of  paying  it  back,  as  we  said,  it  is  permissible according  to  the  two  students  of  Abu  Hanifah  without  any conditions.  It  is  also  permissible  according    to  Abu  Hanifa with  the  condition  that  I  explained  above  (i.e.  for  the  late payment  he  has  to  pay  a  ‘standard  price’,  and  the   ‘standard  price’  is  what  is  known  by  custom).”

His  postulate  is  fallacious.  For  the  validity  of  a  sale,  the price  has  to  be  incumbently  fixed.  An  item  may  not  be purchased  without  the  price  having  been  fixed  at  the session  of  the  sale.  Whilst  a  higher  price  is  permissible  if sold  on  credit,  the  essential  condition  for  the  validity  of the  sale  is  that  the  higher  price  must  be  fixed  at  the  time of  the  sale.  The  price  may  not  be  left  to  fluctuate  and differ  in  a  future  limbo  as  interest  rates  fluctuate  and differ.  The  different  two  prices  –  a  cash  price  and  a  credit price  –  must  be  stated  without  ambiguity  at  the  time  of   contracting  the  deal,  and  one  price  has  to  be  fixed.  The price  may  not  be  left  undetermined  for  future  fluctuation.

The  sciolist  cites  an  example  from  Quduri  without understanding  the  import  of  the  mas’alah.  Firstly.  The mas’alah  in  Quduri  does  not  remotely  refer  to  riba.  The bank’s  transaction  with  the  borrower  has  absolutely  no relationship  with  the  mas’alah    mentioned  in  Quduri  and which  the  copro-jaahil  cites.  Secondly,  the  mas’alah  applies  to  a  valid  trade  transaction  while  the  bank’s transaction  is  a  clear-cut  act  of  lending  money  on  interest, and  no    convoluted  and  stupid  interpretation  can  alter  this reality.  Thirdly,  the  mas’alah  in  Quduri  does  not  relate  to an  unspecified  price  or  a  price  which  is  not  fixed.  In  both cases  the  price  is  fixed.

Quduri  does  not  mention  the  issue  of  two  different  prices as  the  copro-jaahil  attempts  to  hoodwink  laymen  with  his chicanery.  He  cites  the  mas’alah  from  page  103  of Quduri,  but    what  he  claims  is  not  mentioned   in  the section  dealing  with  AL-Muraabah  and  At-Tauliyah.

Imaam  Quduri  merely  states  that  it  is  permissible  for  the buyer  to  increase  the  price  and  for  the  seller  to  increase  the commodity  and  decrease  the  price.  What  relationship  has this  with  the  riba  the  bank  charges?  Each  one  of  the parties  is  merely  exercising  his  right.  If  for  argument’s sake  we  assume  the  stupid  postulate  of  the  copro-jaahil  to have  any  validity  then  in  his  example,  the  bank  is  not  the ‘buyer’.  On  the  contrary,  it  is  the  ‘seller’  of  the  house. Now  the  bank  (the  hallucinated  seller)  is  mandatorily increasing  the  so-called  ‘price’  (i.e.  the  riba)  from  year  to year  depending  on  the  fluctuation  in  the  rate  of  interest. Thus,  the  copro-jaahil  has  inverted  the  mas’alah  of  Quduri in  his  convoluted,  stupid  exercise  of  presenting  the  bank loan  as  a  trade  transaction.

In  a  valid  sale  transaction,  the  buyer  has  the  right  to increase  the  price  at  will.  The  seller  has  no  right  of increasing  the  price  after  finalization  of  the  deal.  Yes, he  has  the  right  to  decrease  or  give  a  discount  at  his  own wish  and  will  without  such  decrease  being  stipulated  in  the contract  and  without  such  decrease  being    customary.

The  Faasiq  sciolist    conveniently  omits  citing  what Quduri  says  about  Qardh,  and  this  appears  on  the  very same  page  from  which  he  has  cited  the  mas’alah  regarding  increasing  and  decreasing  the    price  and  the commodity  by  the  buyer  and  the  seller  respectively. Quduri states:

Every  Dain  which  is  due,  if    the  creditor  stipulates  a   time  (for  its  payment),  it  becomes    Mu-ajjal  (i.e.  it  will only  be  due  for  payment  on  the  stipulated  date),  except Qardh,  for  verily,    fixing  a  time  (for  its  payment)  is  not valid.”

We  have  earlier  explained  that    Dain  is  a  debt  in  a  sale transaction  while  Qardh  is  a  debt  incurred  by  a  loan.

Explaining  the  invalidity  of    fixing  a  time  for  payment  of Qardh, the Fuqaha say:

Verily,  Ta’jeel  (fixing  a  time)  is  not  valid,  i.e.  it  is  not binding.  Thus,  if  at  the  time  of  giving  the  loan,  or thereafter,   a      known    time  is  fixed,  it  will  not   be  valid. The  lender  has  the  right  to  demand  immediate  payment because  Qardh  is  Aariyah  (giving  a  loan  of  an  item)  which is  (an  act  of  (Tabarru’  (kindness/favour),  and  Ta’jeel  in Tabarru’ is not binding.” (Aini and Fathul Qadeer)

The  sciolist  may  check  the  kutub  to  ascertain  what  he  has omitted  by  his  chicanery.  The  Qardh  remains  valid  whilst the  baatil  condition  automatically  falls  away.    

The  other  example  of  paying  the  tailor  one  price  if  he   stitches  the  garment  ‘today’  or  lesser  sum  if  he  prepares  it  for  the  next  day,  also  has  absolutely  no  relationship  to  the bank  loan  scenario.  By  itself  it  is  a  valid  contract  in which  there  is  no  ambiguity  and  no  fluctuation  of  the service  fee  for  stitching  the  garment.  The  amount  is  fixed at  the  time  of  the  deal.  The  price  does  not  fluctuate  in  a limbo  of  ambiguity,  and  it  has  no  truck  with  bank  interest.   There  is  no  ‘differing’  in  the  fee  which  is  arranged  and  agreed  during  the  transaction.  The  analogy  posited  by  the sciolist  jaahil  is  glaringly  fallacious.

The  sciolist  Atabek  has  pivoted  his  baatil  opinion  on  the fallacious  basis  of  a  bank‘s  loan  not  being  Qardh,  and  for its  justification  he  arbitrarily  and  stupidly  claims  that  the loan  cannot  be  Qardh  because  the  bank  restricts  its  used for  a  specific  purpose,  namely,  the  purchase  of  a  property. There  is  absolutely  no  authority    in  the  Shariah  for  this  ludicrous  opinion.  At  most,  it  could  be  ventured  that  the  stipulation  is  faasid.  On  the  assumption  that  it  is  faasid, the  reality  of    Qardh  remains  unchanged.  The  loan  is valid.  Only  the  condition  falls  away.  Thus,  there  is  no transformation  of  the  Qardh  into  Tawkeel.

Neither  is  there  a  stupid  metamorphosis  nor  is  there  a Tawkeel  agreement  isaalatan  (initially),  nor  has  any  such contract  subsequently  come  into  being.  From  whichever angle  the  matter  is  examined,  only  a  Riba  Loan  emerges. But  like  the  mushrikeen  of  Arabia,  this  Atabek  sciolist expectorates:  “Riba  is  like  trade”. Only  he  camouflages this  opinion  of  the  mushrikeen  by  saying “A  bank  loan (with  Riba)  is  Tawkeel.”  Only  a  spiritually  blind  heart  has the  raw  and  kufr  audacity  of  proclaiming  an  interestbearing  bank  loan  to  be  halaal,  dubbing  it  Tawkeel  by nafsaani  hallucination.  May  Allah  Ta’ala  save  us  from corruption  of  the  heart  caused  by  Rijs  divinely  cast  on  the brains, as the Qur’aan Majeed says: 

And,  He  (Allah)  casts  Rijs  (FILTH)  on  those  who    lack Aql.”  (those  who  fail  to  understand  that  the  sun  shines during the day time).

The Reality of The Paper Currency and its Connection to the Dajjalic World Order

[By Imran N. Hosein]


Abū Bakr ibn Abi Maryam (radhiyallahu anhu) reported that he heard the Messenger of Allah say: “A time is certainly coming over mankind in which there will be nothing (left) that will be of use (or benefit) save a Dinār (i.e.,a gold coin)and a Dirham (i.e.,a silver coin).” [This prophecy clearly anticipates the eventual collapse of the fraudulent monetary system now functioning around the world.] (Musnad Ahmad)

It is both strange and embarrassing that even at this late hour when enemies are about to weld into place the final iron gate of a financial Guantanamo,so many Muslims remain ignorant about the devilish nature of European created money in the modern world. One has even criticised this writer for  having “funny” views concerning money.

There seems to be little understanding of the role that a European created money system has been playing in delivering to enemies of Islam the capacity to engage in massive legalised theft of the wealth of mankind. Nor is there realization that those enemies have designed a monetary system that would eventually deliver to them financial dictatorship over the whole world. They have already succeeded in enslaving millions of  Muslims (as well as others amongst mankind) with slave wages and even destitution, while pursuing a sinister global agenda on behalf of the Euro Jewish State of Israel. It is truly pathetic to listen to those who blame Pakistanis and Indonesians for miserable poverty in Pakistan and Indonesia.

The news media, even in countries that declare ‘Islam’ to be the State religion,is notorious for blanking out all news reports concerning this important subject. An example of such was the important ‘International Conference on the Gold Dinār Economy’ that was held at KualaLumpur’s Putra World Trade Center on July 24th and 25th 2007. An excellent key note address, delivered by a former Malaysian Prime Minister,Tun Dr.Mahathir Mohamad, set the stage for two days of intensive deliberations on the subject of ‘money’. This booklet is an expanded version of our paper entitled “Explaining the Disappearance of Money with Intrinsic Value” which we presented at the conference shortly after the feature address. Readers may wish to assess the coverage of that conference in the Malaysian  English language newspapers.

What is far worse than the news blackout is that classically trained scholars of Islam (i.e.,‘Ulamā) seem to share with ordinary Muslims this strange and highly embarrassing state of ignorance, orsilence, concerning the fraudulent nature of modern money. Even when they realise that there is something dangerously wrong about modern money, so many in this strange modern age lack the courage to denounce the monetary system of non redeemable paper money as fraudulent and, hence,Harām.

Governments who rule over Muslims present the most pathetic scene of all. Neither do they understand the dangerous reality of money today, nor do they want to know the subject. The reason for this is located in the subservient role to which they must adhere as governments in their relations with the Judeo Christian alliance that now rules the world.

The solitary exception to this dismal state of affairs has been the former Prime Minister of Malaysia ,Dr.Mahathir Mohamad. He not only understood the exploitative nature of the monetary system created by modern western civilization, but also, and quite correctly so,did what scarcely any of the Muftis of Islam have so far done, or dare to do. He called for the return to the Gold Dinār as money, in place of the money system built around the utterly fraudulent US dollar, so that Muslims could extricate themselves from financial and economic oppression and  exploitation.

We offer this essay on the ‘future of money’ for the benefit of those who believe in the Qur’ān as the revealed word of the One God, and in Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) as the last of His Prophets. We are conscious of the fact that we must not only explain this subject adequately but that we must also pray that Allah Most Kind may intervene and remove the veils from so many eyes. Only then wouldthey recognise the looming final stage of a fraudulent monetary system designed to impose complete financial slavery upon mankind. The system is designed to target in particular those who resist the mysterious Judeo-Christian alliance that now rules the world.

The final stage of evolution in their monetary system would witness the universal embrace of electronic money, the brightest jewel of their evil monetary crown, which would totally replace today’s fraudulent paper currencies. Indeed this final stage has already commenced, and all that the international monetary bandits now need is a world crisis  that would result in a total collapse of the US dollar and a consequent mass stampede away from paper currencies.

Already the impending collapse of the US dollar is reflected in the rising price of gold–now close to the record of US$850 anounce set in January 1980. The world can expect to see the price of gold escalate to US$ 3000 or more per ounce.  The same thing would happen to the price of oil. Perhaps the psychological shock of the collapse of the US dollar would produce the stampede through which electronic money would effortlessly replace paper money as the new cashless money system of the world.

We attempt in this essay to introduce the reader to the subject of money as located in both the blessed Qur’ān and the Sunnah of the blessed Prophet (sallalahu‘alayhi wasallam).We demonstrate that such money (which we call Sunnah money) always possessed intrinsic value. By that, we mean that the value  of the money,whatever that value might be, and regardless of changes in value that might naturally occur, was stored within the money, and was thus immune to arbitrary external manipulation and devaluation.

We further demonstrate that the monetary system created by the ruling European Judeo-Christian alliance was specifically designed to remove ‘money with intrinsic value’  from the money system of the world, and to replace it with money that had no intrinsic value.Such non redeemable paper currencies could then be devalued. When they were devalued, not only would it result in an unjust legalised theft of the wealth of those who used the devalued currency but additionally, it would become more and more expensive for such countries to repay loans which were taken on interest. Eventually these countries would be trapped with debts they could never repay, and would thus beat the mercy of those whose suspiciously large loans to them were meant to deliver precisely such control over them.(See John Perkins,‘Confessions of an Economic Hit Man’).

As money was devalued, the cost of property, labour, goods and services in the territories of the devalued currencies would become cheaper and cheaper for those who created the monetary system. Eventually one part of the world could live very comfortably while the rest of the world,with their constantly devalued money,sweated and laboured in a new slavery to keep the bandits permanently rich and with permanent first class tickets on the ship of life. As poverty increased in the targeted countries, corruption naturally also increased. Those who had the intellectual acumen of cattle would then wonder loudly: why do Muslim countries suffer from so much corruption while the West (which had looted their wealth and was living off their sweat) was so free from corruption.

Then when the IMF forced privatization upon those whose money had lost value,the bandits could then buy out oil and gas fields, power supply companies, telephone companies,etc.,in such countries for a song and six pence,i.e.,for a price far less than their true value . It remains an enigma that Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez could understand the exploitative role of the IMF
and could terminate Venezuela’s membership in that organization,while the scholars of Islam remain amazingly silent on the subject.

This essay goes onto explain that the enemies are not content with simply living off the sweat of others through exploiting to their advantage a monetary system that is unjust and oppressive. Rather they have a grand design to so financially enslave the masses as to permit them to impose their dictatorship over the whole world.Their dictatorship would,in turn,pave the way for the Euro Jewish State of Israel to become the ruling state in the world and, eventually, for a ruler of Israel to startle the world with the utterly fraudulent claim that he is the true Messiah.In fact,he would be Dajjāl the false Messiah or Anti Christ! We are now so close to that event that this writer confidently predicts that children now at schools would live to see it

Unless one has an understanding of the grand design behind the creation of the contemporary monetary system of non redeemable paper money,one cannot respond properly to the challenge posed by that monetary system.Yet this writer has tried in vain  to convince his distinguished and learned peers of the need to understand that grand design before embarking on an effort to restore the Gold Dinār as money.

Many secularised Muslims in the modern age fervently believe that religion should have nothing to do with economic and political life. Such Muslims would be at a loss to explain, or even understand, the following incident in the life of Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wasallam):

Abū Sa’īd al Khudri (radhiyallahu anhu) said that Bilāl (radhiyallahu anhu) brought the Prophet some Barni dates, and when he asked him where he had gotten them he replied:“I had some inferior quality dates so I exchanged two Sa’s of them for one Sa’(of this).” The Prophet responded: “Ah! This is the very essence of Ribā, the very essence of Ribā! Do not do so,but when you wish to buy, sell the dates in a separate transaction, then buy with what you get.” (Bukhāri,Muslim)

We learn from the above that Prophet Muhammad(sallalahu ‘alaihiwasallam)prohibited an unequal exchange of ‘dates’for ‘dates’.He declared such an exchange to be the very essence of

Ribā. Yet there is evidence that an unequal exchange of camels ’for ‘camels’ was permitted:
Yahya related to me from Mālik from Nāf’i that Abdullah ibn Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) bought (i.e.,exchanged) a female riding camel for four camels and he guaranteed to give the minfull to the buyer at arRabādha. (Muwatta,ImāmMālik)

The question naturally arises : why was there a prohibition of an unequal exchange of dates, but no prohibition of an unequal exchange of camels? The answer to that question, located in a very important Hadīth of the blessed Prophet(sallallahu alayhi wasallam) concerning Ribā, explains what is money in Islam: Abī Sa’īd al Khudri reported Allah’s Messenger as saying: “Gold for gold,silver for silver,wheat for wheat, barley for barley,dates for dates,and salt for salt.(When a transaction is)like for like,payment being made on the spot, then if anyone gives more or asks for more,  he has dealt in Ribā, the receiver and the giver being equally guilty.” (Sahīh,Muslim)

The above Hadīth of Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) has very clearly established three things:

Firstly, it established ‘money’ in Islam to be either precious metals such as gold and silver, or other commodities such as wheat, barley, dates and salt which are commodities of regular consumption as food but which have a shelf life.Thus,

when there was a scarcity of gold and silver coins in the market in Madinah,commodities such as dates, which were available in the market in abundant supply, and which had a shelf life, were used as money. Consequently, we can now answer the above question.

The unequal exchange of camels for camels was permissible since animals were never used as money. An unequal exchange of dates for dates had to be prohibited, however, because dates were used as money,and permission for such an exchange would open the door for a money lender to lend money on interest.1

If the same principle concerning the use of commodities such as dates as money, were to be applied in the Indonesian island of Java, for example,then rice could be used as money if gold and silver coins were to be in short supply in that market.

In the island of Cuba on the other hand, sugar could be used as money,etc. Some scholars of Islam argue that mankind is free to use anything, even a grain of sand, as money. Therefore,there is no prohibition to printing paper and assigning any value to the paper. Our response is that grain sofs and or shells found on the seashore cannot qualify in Islam as money according to the Hadīth since they are neither precious metals nor or they commodities that are consumed regularly as food.

Secondly, when gold, silver, wheat, barley, dates and salt (rice, sugar, etc.) were used as money, the value of the money was ‘inside’ the money and not ‘outside’ . Hence, the Hadīth established ‘money’ in Islam to possess intrinsic value.

Thirdly, money was always located within Allah’s creation in a commodity that was created by Allah Most High, with value assigned to it by Allah Most High Himself. He declared of Himself that He was al Razzāaq , the creator of wealth.

We may now describe money located in the Sunnah to be the  following:

•  precious metals or other commodities as described above,

•  money with intrinsic value,

•  money located within Allah’s creation with value assigned to such money by Allah Most High Himself Who is the creator of wealth.

Some scholars of Islam hasten to remind us that the Sunnah is comprised of two parts. The first is that which has come to us from the blessed Prophet but was based on Divine guidance. And the second is that which was based on his own opinion.The Prophet has himself advised his followers in respect of the second that “you are better informed about your worldly affairs.” The implication of this advice was that there was no obligation to follow such Sunnah.

The scholars goon to argue that ‘money’ falls in the second category. As a consequence, they argue, it is perfectly legitimate for Muslims to accept the present system of non redeemable paper money in which the Jewish Christian ruling alliances imply has to print paper as money, assign a fictitious value to it, and in the process become creators of as much wealth as they want. They can then use their currencies to buy anything they want in any part of the world. However, when Muslims follow them in this blasphemous activity of creating wealth out of nothing, a suitcase filled with Indonesian Rupiahs or Pakistani Rupees cannot buy even a cup of coffee in Manhattan or London or any other countries of the “West”.

Such scholars of Islam have never declared the present monetary system of non redeemable paper money to be Harām, and it seems as though they never will. They are, of course, very wrong in their judgement and they will have to face the consequences on the Day of Judgement for that atrocious failure. They do not consider that money in the form of precious metals created by Allah Most High with intrinsic value assigned to them by Allah Himself is firmly grounded in the blessed Qur’ān itself.

Allah Most High referred to a Dinār in this verse of Sūrah Āle‘Imrān

“Amongst the People of the Scripture (i.e.,the Torah)there are those who if entrusted (by a fellow Israelite) with a Qintār (a treasure of money such as a heap of gold coins) for safe keeping, would return it upon demand. Yet amongst them there are those who if entrusted (by a Gentile ,i.e.,one who was not an Israelite) with a (single) Dinār (a gold coin) for safe keeping,would not return it on demand unless the owner were to persist in demanding there turn of his property. The reason for this (double standard) is because they argue that the (religious law)placed no obligation on them to be just and fair in their dealing swith Gentiles. But they tell a lie against Allah (Most High), and they know full well (that it is a lie).” (Qur’ān, Āle‘Imrān, 3:75)

He also referred to a Dirham in this verse of Sūrah Yūsuf:

“And they sold him for a few measly Dirhams and they did so because they considered him to be of little worth.” (Qur’ān, Yūsuf, 12:20)

In both these verses of the Qur’ān Allah Most High has referred to ‘money’ as ‘gold’ and ‘silver’ coins. A Dinār was a gold coin with intrinsic value, and a Dirham or silver coin, also had intrinsic value. Both are firmly located in Allah’s creation and both possess value assigned to them by Allah Himself Who is the creator of wealth.

There are other verses of the Qur’ān that also refer to gold and silver as wealth, and such wealth could be used as money in the form of gold Dinārs and silver Dirhams:

“Beautified for mankind is love of the joys (that come) from women and off spring; and stored up heaps of gold and silver (i.e.,heaps of Dinārs and Dirhams), and horses branded (with their mark), and cattle and land. That is comfort of the life of theworld. Allah! With Him is a more excellent abode.” (Qur’ān, Āle‘Imrān, 3:14)

“Lo! those who disbelieve, and die in disbelief, the (whole) earth full of gold would not be accepted from such an one if it were offered as a ransom (hence as money through which he seeks to ransom his soul). Theirs will be a painful doom and they will have no helpers.”(Qur’ān, Āle‘Imrān, 3:91)

“O ye who believe! Lo! many of the (Jewish) rabbis and the (Christian) monks devour the wealth of mankind want only and debar (men) from the way of Allah. They who hoard up gold and silver and spend it not (this would obviously be in the context of use of gold and silver as money) in the way of Allah, unto them give tidings (O Muhammad)of a painful doom.” (Qur’ān, al Tauba, 9:34)

“And were it not that (all) men might become of one (evil) way of life, We would provide, for everyone that blasphemes against (Allah) Most Gracious, silver roofs for their houses and(silver)stairways on which to goup,and (silver) doors to their houses,and thrones (of silver) on which they could recline, and also Zukhruf (i.e.,gold). But all this were nothing but conveniences of the present life: The Hereafter, in the sight of thy Lord is for those who fear (Him).” (Qur’ān ,Zukhruf, 43:335)

“And if you wish to have (one) wife in place of another and you have give none of them a Qintār (i.e.,a treasure of gold and silver coins), then take not from it anything; would you take it by slandering (her) and (doing her) manifest wrong?” (Qur’ān, al Nisā,4:20)

The Qur’ān goes on to reveal the extraordinary news that gold and silver would maintain their status as things of great value in the next world as well. In other words, gold and silver possess a spiritual reality as things of value, in addition to their value in this material world:

“Their raiment will be fine green silk embroidered in gold. Bracelets of silver will they wear. Their Lord will quench their thirst with a drink (sparkling) with purity.”[This verse,as well as others that follow,reveal that gold and silver will remain precious and valuable in the hereafter as well.] (Qur’ān, al Insān,76:21)

“Therein are brought round for them trays of gold and goblets, and therein is all that souls (i.e., hearts) desire and eyes find sweet. And you will abide therein forever.” (Qur’ān, al Zukhruf, 43:71)

“Then why are not gold bracelets bestowed on him, or (why) come (not) with him angels accompanying him in procession?”[Hence they recognised gold to be precious and that it can be bestowed from above.] (Qur’ān, al Zukhruf, 43:53)

Gardens of Eternity will they enter: therein will they be adorned with bracelets of gold and pearls; and their garments there will be of silk.” (Qur’ān,al Fātir35:33)

“Allah will admit those who believe and work righteous deeds, to Gardens wherein rivers flow:they shall be adorned therein with bracelets of gold and pearls; and their garments there will be of silk.” (Qur’ān,al Hajj,22:23)

“For them will be Gardens of Eternity wherein rivers will flow; they will be adorned therein with bracelets of gold, and they will wear green garments of fine silk and heavy brocade: They will recline there in on raised thrones. How good the recompense! How beautiful a couch on which to recline!” (Qur’ān, al Kahf,18:31)

“(Even if) you have a house adorned with gold, or you mount a ladder right into the skies, we shall not believe in your mounting (into the skies)until you send down to us a book that we could read.”Say: “Glory to my Lord! Am I aught but a man a messenger?” [Thus they recognised gold to be something precious and of great value.] (Qur’ān,al Isrā, 17:93)

Indeed, the gold Dinār is destined to play a very significant role on Judgement Day itself. In a very long Hadīth, the weight of goodness in a heart, when measured against a Dinār, would be the measure by which people would be taken out of the hell fire. Here is the relevant passage from the long Hadīth:

Abū Sa’īd al Khudri (radhiyallahu anhu) reported: When the Day of Resurrection comes a Mu’adhdhin (aproclaimer) would proclaim: “Let every people follow what they used to worship….”

Then their persons would be forbidden to the Fire; and they would take out a large number of people who had been overtaken by Fire up to the middle of the shank or upto the knees. They would then say: “O our Lord not one of those about whom Thou didst giv eus command remains in it (in Jahannam)”.He will then say:“Go back and bring out (from the hellfire) those in whose hearts you find good of the weight of a Dinār.” Then they will take out a large number of

people. Then they would say: “O our Lord! We have not left anyone about whom You commanded us.” He will then say: “Go back and bring out those in whose hearts you find as much as half a Dinār of good.” Then they will take out a large number of people, and would say: “O our Lord! not one of those about whom Thou commanded us we have left in it.” Then He would say: “Go back and in whose heart you find good to the weight of a particle bring him out.” They would bring out a large number of people, and would then say: “O our Lord, now we have not left anyone in it (Hell) having any good in him….” (Sahīh, Muslim)

The above verses of the Qur’ān and the above Hadīth demonstrate that gold and silver were created by Allah Most High with great value bestowed on them, and that such value would survive this mundane world to be retained in the next world as well. The verses also demonstrate that Allah Most High, in His wisdom, created gold and silver to be used, among other things, as money. Whoever is so blind as to challenge this clear fact should prepare himself to defend his view on Judgement Day.

Money with intrinsic value has today disappeared from the money system used around the world. The entire Muslim world is also guilty of having abandoned ‘money’ that is firmly grounded in the Qur’ān itself and which is of value even in the hereafter. Muslim shave already paid a horrible price for having abandoned that ‘sacred money’ and accepted in its place an
utterly fraudulent means of exchange in the form of ‘secular money’.

Our purpose in this essay is to explain, briefly of course, how and why the disappearance of Sunnah money has occurred. We ask that those who read, understand and agree with the arguments presented in this essay, respond to the following command of Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu‘alayhi wasallam):

Abū Sa’īd al Khudri (radhiyallahu anhu) said: I heard the Messenger of Allah say: “Whosoever of you sees (anything that is) evil, let him change it with his hand; and if he is notable to do so, then with his tongue;  and if he is not able to do so, then with his heart; and that is the weakest (state of) faith.” (Sahīh,Muslim)

                 THE GRAND DESIGN

There is a grand design that links international politics, international monetary economics and religion with today’s fraudulent monetary system. Let us explain. Every Jewish child knows about, and believes in,a divine promise communicated to the Israelite people in which Allah Most High promised that history would end with one man, who would be a Prophet and the Messiah, ruling the whole world from the throne of David (Dawud ‘alayhisssalāam) in Holy Jerusalemvwith eternal rule. Jews concluded there from that history would end with Pax Judaica (a Judeo world order), and with Jerusalem once more at the center of the world as it was at the time of Solomon (Sulayman ‘alayhissalām). They believed that Pax Judaica would validate the Jewish claim to truth, while invalidating all other such claims.

It is quite remarkable that Muslims and Christians both share with Jews the belief that the historical process would culminate  with the Messiah ruling the world with justice from Holy Jerusalem. However, unlike Jews, Muslims and Christians both believe that Jesus [‘Eesa Maseeh alayhissalaam], the son of the Virgin Mary,was the divinely promised Messiah. They also both believe that he was raised into the heavens at the time of the attempt to crucify him, and that he would return to rule the world from Jerusalem exactly as divinely prophesied.

The Qur’ān explained the phenomenon of his return by disclosing that Jesus was not crucified but, rather,that Allah Most High caused it to appear as such:

“That they said (in boast), “We killed Christ Jesus the son of Mary, the Apostle of Allah”;—but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but so it was made to appear to them, and those who differ therein are full of doubts,with no (certain) knowledge, but only conjecture to follow, for of a surety they killed him not. Nay, Allah raised him up unto Himself; and Allah is Exalted in Power, Wise. (Qur’ān,al Nisā, 4:157-158)

Christians have rejected that declaration of the Qur’ān, and persist in their belief that Jesus was crucified.

Jews, on the other hand, reject Jesus [‘Eesa alayhissalaam] as the Messiah, and await another Messiah who would liberate the Holy Land for Jews, bring them back to the Holy Land to reclaim it as their own, restore the Holy State of Israel in the Holy Land (i.e.,the Holy Israel that was created by the Prophets David and Solomon),and then cause that Israel to become the ruling state in the world. That Messiah would then rule the world from Holy Jerusalem with Pax Judaica and bring back the Jewish golden age.

There is compelling evidence that continues to mysteriously unfold in the world that appears to validate the Jewish claim to truth. After all, the ‘liberation’ of the Holy Land took place in 1917. Then the world witnessed the subsequent return of the Jews to the Holy Land to reclaim it as their own some 2000 years after they were expelled from it by divine decree. The establishment of the present (imposter) State of Israel then followed in 1948, and subsequently growth of Israel to superpower status in the world became evident.

Along the way the Judeo-Christian alliance that brough modern western civilization into being has made steady progress towards the establishment of a world government. It now appears to be only a matter of time before Israel replaces USA as the ruling state in the world, and a ruler of Israel makes his appearance as the head of a world government based in Jerusalem, and he makes the momentous claim that he is the Messiah!

Prophet Muhammad (sallalahu‘alayhi wasallam) informed the world that Allah Most High, who had pre knowledge of all events, had responded to the Jewish rejection of the true Messiah by creating a false Messiah. He disclosed that Allah Most High would release that evil being into the world in a dimension of time other than our own ,and with a mission to impersonate the true Messiah. Consequently Dajjāl the false Messiah would have to attempt to establish a world government through which he would rule over the world from Jerusalem.

There is information in the life of the blessed Prophet which indicates that the false Messiah was released into the world after the Prophet’s Hijrah to Madinah had taken place, and after the Jews of Madinah had rejected him as a true Prophet and the Qur’ān as the revealed word of Allah Most High. 

The Prophet also disclosed that one of the most formidable weapons that the false Messiah would use to achieve his goal of ruling the world from Jerusalem would be that of reducing mankind to such a state of internal spiritual blindness that they would be incapable of perceiving his diabolical strategies and would thus be deceived. The Prophet disclosed the supreme strategy through which the false Messiah would seek to impose his universal dictatorship over mankind to be the weapon of Ribā. With Riba he would enslave with poverty those who resist him, and empower with wealth those who accept and support him. The rich elite of mankind so created would then be used as clients and surrogates to exploit and enslave the poor masses and rule over them on behalf of the false Messiah.


The Qur’ān has strictly prohibited Muslims from entering into friendly relations or an alliance with such Jews and Christians who themselves reconcile and establish Judeo Christian friendship and alliance. It did so in the following momentous verse of Sūrah al Māidah:

“Oh you who believe (in Allah Most High) do not take (such) Jews and Christians as your friends and allies who themselves are friends and allies of each other. And whoever from amongst you turns to them with friendship and alliance belongs to them. Surely Allah will not guide a people who commit such (an act of) Dhulm (evil, wickedness).” (Qur’ān, al Māidah, 5:51)

We live in precisely such a world in which a Judeo-Christian alliance has emerged for the very first time in history. It is that alliance which has created modern western civilization, and which now rules the world through the United Nations Organization, etc. It has created a monetary and economic system through which it has already succeeded in unjustly enriching itself at the expense of the rest of the world. It is that Jewish-Christian alliance which established the International Monetary Fund. The reader must now question whether the Qur’anic verse quoted above has prohibited Muslim membership in international organization created and controlled by that Jewish-Christian alliance.The answer should be obvious.

A rich elite now rules over the poor masses of mankind, and the rich nations now rule over the rest of the world. In addition, the wealthy ruling elite around the world now constitute one Jamā’ah, and the stage is now set for the appearance of their one Amīr, who would rule the world from Jerusalem and would be the false Messiah.

Those who cannot recognize Dajjāl the false Messiah as the mastermind behind the present world order, now rule almost the entire Muslim world.They consequently defy the Qur’anic prohibition while establishing and maintaining friendly ties and even alliance with that Judeo-Christian alliance. So long as such people continue to rule over Muslims,
the Ummah of Muhammad (sallallahu‘alayhi wasallam) would continue to remain imprisoned in miserable poverty and incapable of resisting those who wage war on Islam on behalf of the State of Israel.

We now describe one of the processes of Riba through which Dajjāl empowers with wealth those who support him, and enslaves with poverty those who oppose him. What he did was to establish an international monetary system that corrupted money in such a way that it could be manipulated and made to function as a vehicle of legalized theft, gigantic fraud,and economic oppression. One of the very visible forms of such is the exploitation of labor through slave wages. Around the world of the so called free-market economy today, governments have found it necessary to impose minimum wage legislation in order to prevent bloody rebellion by those imprisoned in slave wages.

The reader can easily recognize the very heart of the process of legalized theft in the international monetary system that the Judeo-Christian alliance has created by focusing attention on an event that occurred in April 1933. The US Government enacted legislation at that time prohibiting American residents from keeping gold coins, bullion or gold certificates in their possession. Gold coins were demonetized, and were no longer permitted as legal tender.They could not be used as money. If anyone was caught with such gold after a certain date, he could be fined $10,000 and/or be imprisoned for six months. In exchange for the gold coins and bullion, the Federal Reserve Bank, which is a private bank, offered paper currency (i.e.,US dollars) with an assigned numerical value of a paltry $20 for every one ounce of gold.

Most Americans rushed to exchange their gold for paper currency, but those who were aware of the rip-off that was about to take place bought gold with their paper currency and then shipped the gold away to Swiss banks.

It is significant that the British government also demonetized gold coins in the same year as the US. They did so through the simple expedient of suspending there deemability of the sterling paper pound into gold.

After all the gold in USA had been exchanged for paper currency, the US Government then proceeded in January 1934 to arbitrarily devalue the US paper dollar by 41% and tot hen rescind the law of prohibition concerning gold that was previously enacted.The American people rushed back to exchange their paper-currency for gold at the new exchange value of $35 per ounce of gold.In the process, they were robbed of 41% of their wealth. The reader can now easily recognize the legalized theft that takes place when paper-currency is devalued.

The Qur’ān has specifically prohibited, hence declared Harām, such a robbery of people’s wealth.It has done so,for example, in these verses of Sūrah al Nisā and Sūrah Hūd:

“O ye who believe! Do not appropriate each others property and wealth in a manner that is unjust and unfair: Rather, let business be transacted in a manner that brings mutual satisfaction….!” (Qur’an al-Nisa 4:29)

“And O my people! give just measure and weight, and do not deprive people of what is rightfully theirs by diminishing the value of their things (such as value of labor, merchandise, property,etc.) and do not commit evil in the land with intent to corrupt and destroy.” (Qur’ān,Hud,11:85)

And Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu‘alayhi wasallam) has declared such transactions which are based on deception, and which yield a profit or gain to which one is not justly entitled (i.e.,acts of ‘ripping off’),to be Ribā.2

The Federal Reserve Bank appeared in the above incident to have initiated a ‘trial run’ to test domestically the new monetary system through which a massive and unjust transfer of wealth throughout the unsuspecting world could be achieved. That transfer would take place through the simple device of creating money out of worthless paper and then forcing paper currency upon all of mankind. Those who control the monetary system would then target certain currencies and force them to be continuously devalued. As such paper-currencies lost value the unsuspecting masses would suffer massive loss of wealth, however, their ‘loss’ would result in ‘gain’ for others.

Less than two years earlier, in September 1931, the British pound was devalued by 30% and this gradually increased to 40% by 1934. France then followed with a devaluation of the French Franc by 30%, the Italian Lira was devalued by 41%, and the Swiss Franc by 30%.The samething subsequently happened in most European countries. Only Greece went beyond the rest of Europe to devalue its currency by a whopping 59%.

What appeared to be “beggar thy neighbor” policies of 1930s—using currency devaluations to increase the competitiveness of a country’s export products in order to reduce balance of payments deficits—resulted in plummeting national incomes, shrinking demand, mass unemployment, and an overall decline in world trade that came to be known as the Great Depression.However, it prepared the way for the imposition of an international monetary system that ostensibly sought to bring order and prevent chaos in the world of money and trade. In other words, the Great Depression was artificially contrived in order to justify the imposition of an international monetary system that would bring order to a chaotic world of money. This unusual and highly suspicious collaboration amongst European countries in the almost simultaneous and utterly fraudulent devaluation of their currencies should have awakened Muslims to the grave dangers posed by the European Judeo-Christian monetary system of paper currencies.

The Judeo-Christian alliance went onto establish a‘paper currency’ international monetary system at Bretton Woods. They used the link between the US dollar and gold in the Bretton Woods Agreement as a fig leaf to hide the fact that paper could now be printed and used as money without any requirement that it be redeemable in the market in real money, i.e.,money with intrinsic value. The Bretton Woods Agreement paved the way for the International Monetary Fund to be established in 1944 with the explicit function of maintaining an international monetary system of precisely such non- redeemable paper currencies. By 1971 even the fig leaf disappeared when USA reneged on its treaty obligation under international law to redeem US dollars for gold.

It is amazing, really, that there was no significant Islamic intellectual response to warn and mobilise Muslims to oppose the new fraudulent monetary system. If scholars of Islam were blinded by the fig leaf that was the US dollar, and could not see the fraudulent nature of the monetary system, there has been no fig leaf since 1971 that could cover the shame of legalised theft. Yet the world of Islamic scholarship still failed to see that modern paper money was Harām. Consequently,the entire Muslim world blindly followed the Judeo-Christian alliance into the proverbial monetary lizard’s hole.

As the European Judeo-Christian alliance decolonised the rest of the colonised world they ensured that the decolonised non-European world was absorbed into the new monetary system through membership in the International Monetary Fund.

The Articles of Agreement of the IMF prohibited the use of gold as money.3 It did so by prohibiting any link between gold and paper currencies other than the US dollar.Art.4 Section 2 (b) of the Articles of Agreement stated:“exchange arrangements may include (i) the maintenance by a member of a value for its currency in terms of the special drawing right or another denominator, other than gold, selected by the member, or (ii) cooperative arrangements by which members maintain the value of their currencies in relation to the value of the currency or currencies of other members, or (iii) other exchange arrangements of a member’s choice.”

In April 2002,US Congressman Ron Paul sent the following letter to both the US Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve Bank (which, incidentally, is a privately owned bank) asking why the IMF prohibits gold backed currencies for its member states:

Dear Sirs:

I am writing regarding Article 4, Section 2b of the International Monetary Fund (IMF)’s Articles of Agreement. As you may be aware, this language prohibits countries who are members of the IMF from linking their currency to gold.Thus, the IMF is forbidding countries suffering from an erratic monetary policy from adopting the most effective means of stabilizing their currency. This policy could delay a country’s recovery from an economic crisis and retard economic growth, thus furthering economic and political instability.

I would greatly appreciate an explanation from both the Treasury and the Federal Reserve of the reasons the United States has continued to acquiesce in this misguided policy. Please contact Mr.Norman Singleton, my legislative director,if you require any further information regarding this request.

Thank you for your cooperation in this matter.

Ron Paul
U.S. House of Representatives

It is significant that neither the Federal Reserve Bank nor the US Treasury Department has so far responded to this request for an explanation.The reason why they have not responded is that there is no explanation other than the fact that the monetary system established through the IMF was designed to rip off mankind and eventually impose financial slavery on all those people who are targeted by the Jewish-Christian alliance which now rules the world.

The IMF was used to establish a new international monetary system with new and strange monetary terminology, and Muslims found themselves confronted by terms they had never be fore experienced. There was a world of a difference between ‘local (paper) currency’, which was accepted as a medium of exchange in the country in which it was issued, and ‘foreign exchange’ paper-currency that was the medium of exchange for trade outside of that country. Therefore, if Muslims in Malaysia wanted to sell goods to Muslims in neighbouring Indonesia,the Indonesians had to find foreign exchange to pay for their purchases. However,such foreign exchange was, for all practical purposes, limited to either European paper currencies or to the US dollar.Thus, the trap was set for demand for such European currencies as the US dollar that then became known as ‘hard’ currency.So long as the Judeo-Christian alliance could maintain demand for their paper currencies all that they had to do was to keep on printing such money and, in the process,keep on creating wealth out of nothing.

The evil plan behind the whole system was also to get Western currencies, as well as those of their surrogates, to constantly increase in value in relation to other currencies. That was achieved through the simple device of either coaxing or forcing devaluation of targeted currencies. As such currencies were devalued, it resulted in a massive transfer of wealth from the masses to the elite. It also forced labour into working for slave wages, and it imprisoned those who took hard currency loans from an ever willing IMF and from European commercial banks and now found themselves in ever increasing difficulty to repay those loans with interest. In fact,the entire monetary system with its IMF centrepiece was specifically designed to achieve such results. Targeted countries were trapped with huge loans, were continuously drained of their wealth, and were impoverished as they struggled to repay loans with money that constantly lost value. It did not happen by accident.

Finally, and most glaring of all, the new international monetary system of paper money facilitated the banking system, through fractional reserve banking,to lend on interest money it did not possess. That, also,was legalised fraud. I suspect that the Muftis of Islam neither understand what is meant by fractional reserve banking, nor do they have adequate knowledge of the history of international monetary economics briefly described in this essay. When electronic money totally replaces paper currency,and the unjust monetary system perfects itself, I fear that the Muftis would declare ‘electronic money’ as well to be Halāl.

The IMF was created with a specific purpose of preventing currency exchange restrictions that would hinder the constant devaluation of targeted currencies. Thus the Articles of Agreement declared that the IMF would “assist in the… elimination of foreign exchange restrictions which hamper the growth of world trade.” The elimination of foreign exchange restrictions would then expose a targeted currency to financial attacks that would create opportunities for windfall profits as the currencies lost value.

The international monetary system that emerged out of the Bretton Woods Conference has already succeeded in imprisoning the masses of mankind, including nearly the entire Muslim world, in the prison of permanent poverty and (sometimes) destitution. However, when paper money is replaced by electronic money, such would bring in its wake financial slavery. Muslims must respond in an appropriate way if they are to ever expect any divine assistance that could deliver them from financial slavery. What can that response be? Where should they begin?

                       OUR RESPONSE

Whenever Muslims become conscious of the fact that they have abandoned a Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) while following the Judeo-Christian alliance into the lizard’s hole, their basic response must be to turn around and to try to recover that lost Sunnah. However, when that Sunnah is also firmly located in the Qur’ān, as is the gold Dinār and silver Dirham, then they must also seek Allah’s forgiveness for that act of betrayal and hasten to earn His forgiveness by waging  a struggle to recover that which was abandoned. How should they wage that struggle?What should they do?

Stage One

Minting gold and silver coins permits Muslims to fulfil religious obligations such as paying Zakāt, Mahar(dowry in marriages), financing the Hajj, etc. In addition, such coins would function as a ‘store of value’ and provide the rich with a means of securing their wealth from losses that attend the devaluation of paper money. Minting gold coins and putting them
on sale offers little relief to the poor destitute masses who would have difficulty in buying and then storing even a single Gold Dinār.However, minting the Gold Dinār and Silver Dirham and offering them for sale is certainly of value in furthering the process of public education.

It is when gold and silver coins enter a market to function as a ‘medium of exchange’ and as a ‘measure of value’, that Sunnah money would be fully restored. Such money would immediately expose the fraudulent nature of paper money. The principle is that good money exposes bad money. We can expect that the Judeo-Christian alliance that now rules the world, as well as its clients in the Muslim world, and the banking world in general, would resist all efforts we may make to have gold and silver recognized as legal tender.

As a consequence the basic Islamic response to this monetary predicament must focus on legal tender laws that prohibit the use of gold and silver coins as legal tender. The masses must be mobilised to question why is the use of a Dinār as money prohibited? No government in the world can possibly answer that question since even the IMF cannot answer it.

The effort to respond to such manifestly immoral and oppressive laws must be pursued in the form of a struggle that conforms to the strategic Sunnah (i.e.,the Sunnah of the blessed Prophet as far as he struggled against oppression).That Sunnah teaches us that a mass program of public education is the first stage of the struggle of liberation from political and economic oppression. This essay was written for precisely that purpose.

However, many Muslims cannot be convinced of the fraudulent nature of paper money in today’s monetary system so long as the Ulama themselves do not understand the subject and persist in defending the validity of such money. It might thus be helpful if the Muslim peoples could be made aware of the Hadīth in which the blessed Prophet warned of an age when the ‘Ulamā of Islam would betray Islam to such an extent that they would become “the worst people beneath the sky” and that “nothing would remain of Islam but the name”:

It would not belong before that time comes when nothing would remain of Islam but the name, and nothing would remain of the Qur’ān but the (traces of the) writing. (At that time) their Masājid would be grand structures but would be devoid of guidance. And (at that time) their ‘Ulamā would be the worst people beneath the sky. From them would emerge Fitnah, and to them would it return.” (Sunan,Tirmidhi)


The second stage of the struggle would involve refusal by the remote countryside to accept and use paper currency or electronic money. Rice farmers in the Indonesian island of Java, for example, would be mobilised to demand that they be paid for their rice in Dinārs. In the event that buyers refuse to pay in Dinārs the rice farmers would then monetise their rice by using rice itself as a medium of exchange. Thus, rice would be used as money. Of course the use of rice as money would be a temporary measure and could function only in respect of small item or micro purchases. In this way, Sunnah money would replace paper and electronic money atleast in respect of micro financial exchanges.

The cities would remain trapped in electronic money for as long as the Gog and Magog world order continues to rule the world.4 However, Sunnah money can keep on advancing from the countryside towards the cities until the prophecy of Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) is fulfilled:

“Abu Bakr ibn Abi Maryam reported that he heard the Messenger of Allah say: “A time is certainly coming over mankind in which there will be nothing (left) which will be of use (or benefit) save a Dinār and a Dirham.” (Musnad, Ahmad)


1The Qur’an has made a firm distinction between ‘business’ and ‘moneylending’. In every business transaction there must be an element of risk in consequence of which the transaction might yield a profit or suffer a loss. Allah Most High can then intervene to ‘take’ from some and to ‘give’ toothers. In this way He, Most High, would ensure that wealth would circulate throughout the economy. The rich would then not remain permanently rich, and the poor would not be imprisoned in permanent poverty.

When money is lent on interest, however, the money lender insulates himself to the maximum extent possible from suffering any loss. As a consequence money does not circulate in an economy based on money being lent on interest. The rich remain permanently rich and the poor remain permanently poor and vulnerable to exploitation. Miserable poor Muslim Indonesian village women,for example,must work as maids for the ruling non Muslim tribe in Singapore despite the fact that their employers are hostile to Islam. And, in addition to having to cook and serve pork, must also work for 24 hours a day without any day of rest and all of that for slave wages.

2 “Anas ibn Malik said that the Messenger of Allah said: Deceiving a mustarsal (someone who is unaware of market prices) is Ribā.” (Sunan Baihaqi)

“Abdullah bin Abu Aufa said: A man displayed some goods in the market and took  a false oath that he had been offered so much for them though he was not offered that amount.Then the following divine verse was revealed: Verily! Those who purchase a little gain at the cost of Allah’s covenant and their oaths…will get painful punishment. (3:77) Ibn Abu Aufa added: Such a person(as described above) is a treacherous consumer of Ribā.” (Bukhari)

Transactions based on deception such as concealing the market price, can permit a seller or buyer to sell or buy goods at a price higher or lower than the market price, and thus realise again or profit greater than that to which he was justly entitled. We may now deduce that any transaction which is based on deception and which realises for the agent of deception a profit or gain greater than that to which he is justly entitled would be Ribā. The modern monetary system based on non redeemable paper-currencies that constantly lose value constitute precisely such deception that yields profit or gain to which they creators of the monetary system are not justly entitled. Hence it must be recognised as Ribā.

3.Since this writer’s webmaster has informed him that someone from the IMF has been a regular visitor to his website, he invites the IMF to correct him in this matter if he is wrong.

4.There is an entire article ‘Who are Ya’juj Wa Ma’juj (Gog and Magog)??: Let’s Identify! ’ which explains the subject of Gog and Magog in Islam.